This weekend me and Lynn, (my old friend) road tripped up to our sister Patricia’s in the nether regions of Indiana. When I say it was a “girls weekend” I mean it was the quintessential perfect type weekend of celebration, laughter, old friends, new friends, hot tub conversations and Jay, the only man in the crowd, treating us like princesses’.
We went to celebrate our new addition to the family, Abby. She is our sweet new niece that has already joined us in love, but officially marries my nephew in July. Can I tell you that anytime you can witness the sweetness of new love it does something to your soul?
On Saturday evening, we attended mass with Patricia and Jay. It was pretty cool for the Baptist girl to soak in a whole other spiritual culture. As always, when His children gather to praise Him, He is in the midst. It was in the middle of this song that I first felt His presence and as I let the words of worship wash over me. He had come close to hear this praise. The angelic voice sang words of His mercy and fullness of redemption and I became overwhelmed with the meaning of what He has purchased for me. My fingers tingled and longed to stretch up to Him in a wave of abandon, yet those around me chose to worship in quiet, so instead I fished a scrap of an envelope out of the bottom of my purse and begged a pen from Lynn. In a moment of awe I scrawled down the words as the voices sang them. They were too rich, too deep to leave in this sanctuary, I knew that I would need to read them and treasure them all weekend….
….with the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption….
I see mercy and redemption in the way Jay kneels before the service. He bows before God and in those moments has his own conversations with The Father in the quietness. I see it in the laughter of Patricia as she listens to Lynn tell one of her stories that doubles us over in laughter. I know that she senses it too, this deep well of mercy. I see it in the way her eyes light up when her baby boy stays for supper and then just sits with us, sharing the joy of family. I see it in the way she smiles at Abby, her new daughter who brings with her the hope of love and happiness for her big boy, the promise of little ones…..
….just as those who wait for the morning light, even more I long for the Lord my God…..
…and I too long for the Lord. I want to see Him in His fullness. I want to know the sheer joy that comes from being His child. The treasures He gives His daughters, like sister-love and long lunches over Bru Burgers, because these are gifts. And with every gift from the Father, they are designed to make us want Him all the more. He gives and it only causes us to desire Him nearer than yesterday.
……..whose Word shall ever be my comfort…..
And He places a cloak of comfort over us as we lay in bed and talk, sharing secrets even in the late hours when our eyes are heavy, this sister of mine. He comforts me with new friends of Patricia’s that are now like old friends of mine. And like a warm blanket, I soak it in. I rest in knowing that this family, these dear ones are forever linked to my heart. I watch them, one by one around the table. I feel it as we clasp hands over prayer. A cloak of comfort on a chilly Indiana spring day.
….with the Lord, there is mercy and fullness of redemption…..
Who could know that such a song on a Saturday night can carry such deep meaning? Because the fullness of redemption comes from His deep, deep mercy. In a thousand ways, He showers us with His presence all weekend long. But that is the way of God, to take the ordinary and make it holy. To take family and create love. To call us blessed in the middle of our messiness. To love us lavishly. To call us His own. And we become family through blood and through His blood. This is God’s great mercy. This is the fullness of redemption.