Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tell out my soul....

Sing, my soul, his wondrous love
Sing, my soul, his wondrous love, who from yon bright throne above,
ever watchful o'er our race, still to us extends his grace.

Heaven and earth by him were made; all is by his scepter swayed;
what are we that he should show so much love to us below?

God, the merciful and good, bought us with the Savior's blood,
and, to make our safety sure, guides us by his Spirit pure.

Sing, my soul, adore his Name! Let his glory be thy theme:
praise him till he calls thee home; truth his love for all to come.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord! Unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice;
tender to me the promise of his word; in God my Savior shall my heart rejoice.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his Name! Make known his might, the deeds his arm has done;
his mercy sure, from age to age to same; his holy Name--the Lord, the Mighty One.

Tell out, my soul, the greatness of his might! Powers and dominions lay their glory by.
Proud hearts and stubborn wills are put to flight, the hungry fed, the humble lifted high.

Tell out, my soul, the glories of his word! Firm is his promise, and his mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord to children's children and for evermore!

How does my SOUL speak? Or sing? We sang two hymns (#s 438 & 467) in church Sunday that encourage the singer's SOUL to speak up! "Sing, my soul, his wondrous love!...Sing, my soul, adore His name!...Praise him til he calls thee home; truth His love for all to come!" And then, "Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord! ... the greatness of His name! ...the greatness of His might! ...the glories of His Word!" Sooooooo, how does my soul speak? or Sing? And specifically, how does my soul speak or sing in a way that others can hear it? For God calls us to worship God, right? But God also calls us to evangelize -- we need more FISHERS OF MAN! So how can my SOUL sing out, tell out, cry a way that worships God AND nets more fish???

There is a lot of good that comes from my MOUTH singing out or telling out the greatness of the Lord. And for many people, often when their mouth sings out the praises of God, their soul is actually behind it. But the voice speaking is not ALWAYS necessarily preceded by or accompanied by the soul speaking, is it? Surely those many times in our lives we speak and it is not God's Word exiting our mouths, our SOUL -- the handiwork of God's spirit -- is not apparent. It's possible I think to SPEAK words -- even words of truth, that are not born in soul, not born in God In Us...not what God would have us say right now (and on another topic, isn't it amazing that God can still create such GOOD out of our blunders?)....

My soul has spoken out in God's name when it becomes apparent to those around me when "They know I am Christian by my love." That can happen while I'm being silent. It can happen while I'm in church. It can happen while I'm walking through the restaurant. It can happen while I'm asleep because of something that happened earlier. And it can happen, and often does, I'd bet, when I'm not even aware of whatever I did or said for someone to find God in me. I KNOW that happens regularly for me with others... Because God uses us in ways we know of, and God uses us in ways we're oblivious to -- and couldn't understand if we DID know about them.

Today is my mom's birthday. She's received a few notes on Facebook including one or two with hopes for a year of grace. She would tell you -- and probably will when she reads this -- that in the last 5 weeks she has gained a real appreciation for how God uses people in surprising ways to demonstrate God's grace in our lives. She would probably say that it's been a very long time since so much grace and love was thrown at her from directions she wouldn't necessarily have expected. She has been reminded, over 5 weeks, that the little instances of grace and expressions of care and outbursts of SOUL -- all of which are God's little brushstrokes in the painting of life -- stick out so boldly, and color our canvases so prominently...

During the time she needs love and hugs the MOST, she has felt loved and hugged by God through the love and hugs of people...some of whom were re-introduced to mom's life after some absence. Not even purposeful absence -- just that absence that happens when we don't intentionally maintain our relationships with people... One of dad's greatest gifts was helping relationships heal and in ways I won't go into here, in his death he may have topped himself one last time -- time will tell. Even people mom doesn't know or isn't friends with have seen relationships heal or be brought back together through the event of dad's death... sad that we allow ourselves to require such events to make an effort sometimes, isn't it?

But also....ISN'T GOD GRAND that he takes an event that is so hurtful and grievous and works so much good in it? I sit here and give my dad credit for helping relationships heal -- and he did. His personality and forgiving spirit was & is perfect for that kind of work. But it's GOD who's doing the work. THANK GOD for vessels like my dad who are willing to do that kind of work, and THANK GOD for God, who ALWAYS knows what kind of work to do, ALWAYS knows when to do it, ALWAYS knows how to get it done, and ALWAYS knows who is supposed to play a role.

And finally, OPEN YOUR EYES AND YOUR EARS AND YOUR SOULS, Leebo, that you may know when it's your turn to be called on by God to work grace in people's lives.

"Sing, my soul, his wondrous love, who from yon bright throne above,
ever watchful o'er our race, still to us extends his grace."