Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Vision #6

Several passages from my morning readings spoke deeply to me today.

In Exodus 32, Moses has just come down from the mountain to see the Israelites worshipping a golden calf and the writer stops to make this comment, “the people were unrestrained for Aaron had not restrained them.”

The Gospel reading was from the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus warns us, "when salt loses its flavor, it is good for nothing.”

In 1 Thessalonians, St. Paul reminds his readers that his message was not “in Word only.”
Then, in Psalm 26, we give thanks because, “my foot stands on level ground.”

My meditations on these passages took me back to Saturday evening, to the little church in East Nashville. I watched the children's dance recitals with their parents, grandparents and family friends. The wholesomeness of the children and the community around them moved me. I had gone because Beverly Robbins will soon begin teaching the group the fundamentals of the faith and I was trying help her discern what God might be doing among them.

What I saw was that God has been at work there for a long time. He sent Patricia Cross there years ago. She obeyed Him by giving herself to a handful of children week after week. What she had to offer was dance and so that is what she gave.

God received her gift. Like the bread and the wine that we received in worship, which God has given and which human hands have prepared, her gift of dance has been transformed by grace into a meeting place between God and the hearts of children. Little by little, her work has drawn adults into the work too. Now, two or three have been gathered in Christ’s name and He is very obviously among them.

Without a Patricia Cross, the children might be “unrestrained.” The Evil One would be free to pillage and destroy their little hearts. But Patricia sets boundaries and gives discipline. She has been salt. She has not just offered words, but her very life. She has been setting little feet upon level ground.

The world owes so much to people like Patricia Cross, whose work is done in secret but which will one day be shouted from the housetops. Beverly is going now to help Patricia's work reach a new level of spiritual intensity. The ultimate results will probably be greater than any of us can imagine. I know this because the salt has been good. The boundaries have been set. The ground is level. The gospel has been not only preached but lived.

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