Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Be Lifted High

I spotted an unfamiliar face in the crowd that had gathered for a barbecue; the first party at a new home for people with intellectual and physical disabilities .

Outside in the bright, warm sun of the summer day, vans and cars lined the driveway. Someone had set up lawn chairs out on the back deck, but they were deserted; everyone seemed to prefer to gather inside, in a large, bright room off the kitchen. Guests always seem to gravitate where they will!

I introduced myself to the one person there I didn't know, the young man I had seen when I walked in, and as somebody picked up a guitar and began to lead the group in some worship songs, he told us that he'd been reading the psalms. It was obvious from his expression as well as his words, how much they meant to him. He told us of the musical instruments that the psalms mention and how we are to worship God with singing and all kinds of instruments and how God is enthroned on our praises. Since I too, had just almost finished the book of psalms, we had instant common ground.

Sometimes you meet someone who is "connected," you know; and he was. He was just a man who loved God and wasn't afraid to say so. It just came out so naturally because that was who he was.

He was short, and slim of build, and he wore blue jeans and a red shirt. His dark brown hair was neat and short and his features showed that he had a syndrome labeled as a disability; Downs Syndrome.

I've been thinking of him since then, and how he was such an example to us. And I thought about him again this evening when I felt weak and inept and inadequate.

Paul is away with 7 others on a missions trip in the north, so tonight, hosting our small group, something we always do together as a team, I needed to manage alone.

God provided a driver to pick up the two non drivers from Bradford; my friend Frances. I was grateful for her help, but still, preparing sandwiches and snacks, showing a DVD and leading a discussion, felt like a lot. Praise God, David came to my rescue and took care of the technological aspects of manning the controls for the projector and DVD player, I was so grateful for his help.

Still, when we sat down afterwards to discuss the topic; the authority of God and the State, I felt ill prepared and mentally fuzzy. Again I leaned into my friends who weren't fuzzy at all, but held a good discussion.

Returning from the drive to Bradford afterwards, and while washing the last few dishes and putting away the remains of the meal, I thought about the new friend I met at the barbecue.

He and I are passionate about God, and that is a flame that burns in us, although we might be weak in other ways. In spite of that, God uses us.

As I tidied up, I hummed a song that has been on my heart and in my head for the past few days; Be Lifted High. The words are so beautiful and I love the version by Leeland, which you can hear him sing on You Tube. Me and my friend, we want to lift him high, so that he, not we would be seen.

Be Lifted High
------Michael W. Smith

Sin and its ways grow old
All of my heart turns to stone
And I'm left with no strength to arise
How You need to be lifted high

Sin and its ways lead to pain
Left here with hurt and with shame
So no longer will I leave your side
Jesus, you be lifted high

You be lifted high
You be lifted high
You be lifted high in my life
Oh God
And I fall to my knees
So it's you that they see
Not I
Jesus, you be lifted high

And even now that I'm inside your hands
Help me not to grow prideful again
Don't let me forsake sacrifice
Jesus you be lifted high
And if I'm blessed with the riches of kings
How could I ever think that it was me
For you brought me from darkness to light
Jesus, you be lifted high

You be lifted high
You be lifted high
You be lifted high in my life
Oh God
And I fall to my knees
So it's you that they see
Not I
Jesus, you'll be lifted high

Oh Jesus, you be lifted high
Oh you be lifted high
Oh you be lifted high in my life
Oh God
And I fall to my knees
So it's you that they see
Not I
Jesus, you be lifted high

1 comment:

Meg said...

What a lovely story, and so real to day to day thoughts and events.