Tuesday, 21 August 2012
Something beautiful for God
What if … I obey God’s prompting, and step out in faith, but nothing seems to happen as a result? I saw a beautiful example of the kind of dogged determination that ‘keeps on keeping on and gives up giving up’ when I was in Bulgaria last year. It moved me so much that I wrote about it in the form of a prayer for my new book ‘It’s just You and Me God’ published by Discovery House in a few weeks time.
Huddled against the early April chill
she sat there in the doorway of that little church
muffled in gloves and scarf,
her shabby winter coat was barely thick enough
to keep her warm.
And yet she sat there in the early morning chill
pulling the rope that reached the bell tower,
so that the single bell tolled out its message,
‘The church is here
God is waiting
Come and worship’.
The building has survived dear Lord
throughout the years
that aetheistic forces ruled the land.
But now perhaps God seems quite unfamiliar
and church attendance,
is deemed both dull and out of date,
to those who’d never known you.
For though I watched her for at least an hour,
as far as I could tell from where I sat ….,
no one came.
Did her arms ache, dear Lord
and was her heart discouraged?
that it was hardly worth enduring
the cold, the early rising,
the tuneless clanging
of that solitary bell,
when no one came?
For Lord you couldn’t say it was a lovely sound.
Unlike the joyous peals that thunder out
from churches and cathedrals,
created by a team of eager ‘campanologists’,
a thing of beauty in and of itself,
Especially when in this small village
no one came.
And little seemed to happen
to reward her work.
And yet Lord
when you whispered to my heart
“You don’t see what is going on
within the hearts of those who hear”
that at the very least
she had an audience
You, Lord, who saw her sacrifice of love
and treasured it.
to whom you spoke so clearly.
So thank you Lord
for all the hidden people,
who faithfully rise early
and labour late,
doing the little things you’ve called them to,
in spite of difficulties and disappointments.
‘Tolling’ their particular bell,
so that the people all around them,
whether they seem to listen and respond
can know that God is here.
They faithfully repeat the news
He loves and values them
And waits with arms outstretched
For them to find their way back home,