I was the Sunday morning speaker yesterday—in the pulpit Dan filled for over 20 years. I thought about him maybe peeking down and chuckling at the sight. He would know, better than most, that public speaking isn’t very high on my “most comfortable things to do” list. But I know the pride he would have felt for me and can almost hear him saying, “Honeybun—I am SO proud of you”.
I deliberately sat on the far right front pew where he used to sit; and Bryson, our great-nephew, sat beside me—just like he used to sit beside Dan.
I didn’t want my speaking to be a sad teary event and had asked a few friends to pray to that effect. Sitting there and listening to the songs, I smiled and thought a bit about how far I’ve come in these last almost five years that have passed; and how thankful I am for all the prayers the people there have prayed for me.
Different memories flitted through my thoughts as I waited for my time in the service; and I prayed a prayer from a Rich Mullins’ song I’d not thought of in a long time:
So hold me Jesus, ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
(Now) Won’t You be my Prince of Peace
For years and years, anytime I felt scared in a situation, I’d pray those words—they always worked to calm my fears back then—and they worked yesterday too.
My prepared words were about being BOLD in sharing my faith and Jesus; and about how much I liked the prayer concept of reversing the thunder. I’d included a funny story about Faith Cora and “Chair Leaf” Abe and pointed out that if I want people to listen to the message I share, I have to speak it in love.
There comes a point in preparation for me when it’s time to quit thinking about what I’m going to say and just let it flow.
So I listened to the words of the songs and focused on the overhead screen pictures behind the printed lyrics. Nothing was specifically sung that prompted the words that I then heard repeated three times very clearly in my spirit…
Just come to me on the water…
walk to me on the water…
just come walk to me.