Monday, October 3, 2011

Lifting My Hands

I saw her long before she saw me. 
As she approached, her eighty-something year old eyes locked onto mine.
As she moved quickly toward me, 
moving as quickly as her braced legs would allow,
her smile grew and overtook her face.
She called my name, enveloped me in a hug, 
and my mind tumbled backward to the first day I ever met her.
"My name is Clifford and this is my wife Dot. Our last name is Hawley. 
H-A-W-L-E-Y. We live in Abingdon, if you're ever in the area and need a place to stay, look us us up in the phone book we have plenty of bedrooms and you are always welcome to stay with us."
And I fell in love. 
About a year later this beautiful woman was forever sealed in my heart.
She was in the ladies Bible study that I was teaching.
Sometime during the discussion that day, styles of worship began to be discussed.
I began to share that I was accustomed to raising my hands when I sang during praise and worship, but since coming to this congregation I felt uncomfortable doing so.
I went on to explain that since I was the Preacher's wife,
sitting on the second pew,
being observed by a very traditional congregation,
I did not want to cause anyone to be uncomfortable and distract from their personal worship.
This loving woman, who was then in her seventies, looked at me and quoted this verse,
"Do not quench the Spirit;" 1 Thessalonians 5:19
She then proceeded to say that since the Spirit leads us in our worship to God, and I was working so hard to keep from worshipping openly and honestly,
I really needed to ask myself if I was in danger of quenching the Holy Spirit.
The very next Sunday as I began singing I heard a voice whisper in my ear,
"It's ok to raise your hands."
She had placed herself in a position to encourage me to worship.

As we unfolded out of our embrace tonight, I looked into her eyes and told her how good it was to see her.
My soul was truly refreshed and revived tonight, 
simply by being in the presence of this wonderful woman of God. 
In this wonderful new congregation that my husband and I are serving in,
I am looking for my "Dot."
I am also looking to be "Dot" wherever I can.

Chasing after their hearts,
Glenda Johnson

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