I don’t know exactly what sparked this memory but this morning my mind went back to early 2007. Prior to that Chris had just gone way out there. He decided to try to live without God since he’d always been a “decent church boy.” And boy did he go to the opposite extreme. My mother’s heart was broken. Here I had raised him in the Word and even in ministry since he was about 8 and he left it all to go explore the world.
I sought the Lord as to what to do. I knew all his teaching would not be in vain. I also always went for relationship with my kids no matter what was going on with them. That always was rewarded in the end. I had this Holy Spirit idea! I took several scriptures and rewrote them with Chris’ name on them. I had some I had written out on a piece of paper and put o n the fridge. I prayed them every morning for a long time.
I don’t recall all of those scriptures but a couple were :
Restore in Chris the joy of his salvation (Psalm 51:12)
Now may the God of hope fill Chris with all
joy and peace in believing, so that Chris will abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
As I said, I prayed them every day for a long time. Then Chris actually accepted an invitation to go to Passion with a group of us. That January it was in Atlanta. I was simply shocked that he said he would go. It was a great family time as Ronella, Chris and I went with a group, but all stayed together in one room. We had some great times together on that trip!
I figured he would hate the whole thing as he had avoided anything to do with religion for several years. But he actually attended all the services. (they are not “churchy” or I wouldn’t have gone either!) He heard music and preaching that was simply soul stirring. And never gave any sign that any of it meant anything to him.
Then the night of the “silent service” occurred. I wondered where he was as I stood outside holding a small candle. Young people came and filed into the grassy area in front of a huge stage. But they all remained silent! It seemed like they poured in for hours! There were only about 24,000 but I thought how massive it was when the children of Israel came into an area. And how moving it was as they all marched silently around Jericho! But I never saw Chris.
Chris had actually gone back to his room to catch a quick nap. He woke abruptly and thought he had missed the silent service. (these times were powerful as we all waited before the Lord in unity and silence!) As he told it, he came running up to find everyone and stopped to listen to try to figure out where the crowd was gathered. Then he was like, “Duh! It’s a silent service!” so he climbed up on some embankment to try to find the crowd.
That’s when he saw the throng of about 24 thousand strong standing in front of the stage. He said the scripture immediately went through his mind every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. Then he though how awesome and overwhelming that glorious day will be! But then his next thought as he related it to me was,”And where will I be?” He glanced at the stage as he thought maybe he’d be standing there with Jesus on that day! Then he thought, “No, I’ll be in the crowd confessing that He is Lord!” And that’s where Chris’ world changed!
He became radically passionate about pursuing God! He quit all the bands he was in and his world turned upside down. I was totally unsuspecting as he never said a word about the trip. Then one Saturday he called and asked what time my church started. He said he was coming. I thought that was really odd!
I was leading worship when he and his friend, Jonathan, came in. I had a hard time concentrating on the music as they marched all the way to the front and began to join in. I was in shock and actually wondered if he was mocking us! – sorry, but that’s what I thought!
Then when we got home he began to share this whole story with me. He played me a song called “Redeemer” that he wrote when we got back! Then he took me to the fridge and pointed to those food stained scriptures. He said, ” I don’t know how long you’ve been praying those scriptures, but here I am!” We embraced and shed a few tears together! It was an awesome moment in time. And he never was quite the same!
So this morning I am getting some scriptures together to put on my fridge again. I will be calling my son back from a very different place… but I long for the day when he tells me once again, “Here I am!”