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is deemed both dull and out of date,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?
Feeling perhaps
 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”
I realised 
that at the very least
she had an audience
of two.
You, Lord, who saw her sacrifice of love
and treasured it.
And me,
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
or not,
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,
To worship.


  1. Replies
    1. Glad you liked it Moray. Such a simple thing, and almost certainly she had no idea that her 'alabaster box' of loving service would be read about by many, across the world.

  2. Love, love, love this, Marion! You captured that moment so beautifully. I needed this encouragement today. Thank you. Aloha, Robin

    1. A moment we shared. so glad that it encouraged you as you've encouraged me so often

  3. loved this as well...encouraging to be reminded that God sees and knows all...regardless of the results of our labor and sacrifice. It's always tempting to compare what others are doing and the accolades they receive and wonder if we didn't hear God correctly...or we're not doing it right, or working hard enough. And yet when I wait on God, He reminds me to what He's called me, and surrendering my ministry to Him also means surrendering my expectations of what I want it to be, and trust that God is working behind the scenes where only He can see.

    1. yes, it's so encouraging to know that NOTHING is wasted in His economy. The warp and weft of our lives are woven together, and we don't always see the pattern, but it's there.

  4. So thank you, Lord, for reminding me to be faithful to your calling. There are days when my efforts seem pointless, there are days when no one seems to be willing to listen about you, Lord, but I promise to be like that early-riser tolling my bell and inviting those around me, somebody, anybody, to come and listen about you. Because you have words that give us life.

    1. Thank you Nadia. There's a verse somewhere which says something like 'God is not unaware of your labour of love'. He sees. He knows, and He blesses