“Celebrate,” he belted out, swinging his right arm in an arc, palm face forward
in a Wal-Mart aisle, walking beside his dad.
“Rejoice,” left arm, swinging in an arc, palm face forward.
Both arms held in a V – just waiting. . . waiting for the right count . . .
“Exalt the name of the Lord,” and his arms shimmied upward, reaching high, words to the rest of the song following.
Little boy singing uninhibited of His Lord, a song from his church musical – overflowing
My husband smiled, telling me about it – part proud, part sheepish about this boisterous, out-loud
singing of a little boys heart
celebrating the Father
His dad didn’t tell him to stop, though – he let it just flow out –
an odd little smile on his face in the telling – an odd smile that I remember today, making me think it was a moment to be stored for days where faith needed remembering
little boy letting out his song
his faith song
planted something deep
with roots reaching
that wouldn’t be so hard to pull out
when the hard times came
the teen times
““For there is hope for a tree,
When it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And its shoots will not fail.
8 “Though its roots grow old in the ground
And its stump dies in the dry soil,
9 At the scent of water it will flourish
And put forth sprigs like a plant.” (Job 14: 7-9)
and something that once bloomed, was cut to the stump, like my hydrangea
when we transplanted last year
and it looked so lost, nothing but dry sticks through April, May, June, July –
“Just wait,” my husband said. “It will grow back.”
and so I waited, making myself hope, making myself believe
that we did it right
then one August evening, we saw a little green, pea-sized
on a dead-looking branch
Hundreds of days later, this Saturday morning, it stood under my kitchen window, stems and leaves growing tall, strong – not blooming yet but emerging with new life
My prayer to Jehovah-Raah – the Lord my Shepherd, is and has been that none will be lost – and he told me in His word, and all around me –
His creation showing me His promise –
whispering it in the stories of their roots, their leaves, their blooms
My transplanted hydrangea, the butterfly bush, the knock-out rose, the yellow flowering shrub without a name – they told me the story to encourage my belief. . . my hope. . .to trust
the story of the root of Jesse that was cut down by the world that sought to destroy it
and yet it survived – it was as though the trees, flowers and bushes were putting on a remembrance play in my yard, daily for hundreds of days.
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit” (Isaiah 11:1)
God does not forget the roots planted deep in little boy hearts
His word tells of the salvation story of the root of Jesse who died on a tree so that we may live
that He came to die to save us
to save us from missing it
walking away from it
getting lost from it
but the root remembers
and wants to be found
Jehovah-Raah – the Lord my Shepherd,
who pursues to bring
every root back into the light
shoot through the darkness
into the light
to become as He designed
Looking at those sticks last year – it was a chorus in my yard – a message of hope
to rejoice in the pea-size
to do the dance of joy over that pea-size dot of green
because growing to bloom takes God time
and today – its leaves are bursting green
If you have a teen/young adult who is struggling with good choices – remember the seeds you’ve planted, the roots that have grown deep – God remembers – remind Him, stand in faith on them – just because you don’t see the evidence of them does not mean they are not there.
Jehovah-Raah – the Lord my Shepherd, though, is already pursuing, searching, working to restore – you might not see it – but He does.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1)
Little boy and little girl voices bursting in faith songs in Wal-Mart aisles are not forgotten by Him, the God who is my Shepherd.
Still Counting Gifts with Ann at a Holy Experience:
- sharing Sfogliatelle over Friday lunch with my husband
- 6 a.m. Tues/Thurs workouts outside at my house with a friend
- compliments on the work-ethic of my sons
- 2 boys deciding to apply for phlebotomy training and the other radiologic technologist because they do not want to take the traditional route through college
- my second son and his girlfriend standing beside me in church
- and coming to the house to grill afterwards and sit talking over the table
- rain fall, rain drops on an at-home day where I can just be blessed – rain is like God saying to me, “Slow down. Relax. Just let it wash your spirit clean.”
- each random smile from each random son – at the top of the stairs, across the dinner table, laying across the porch settee, arms wrapped around the puppy – in the rear view mirror – each makes my heart smile right back!
- evidence of Jehovah-Raah pursuing each of my sons – evidence of the holy shepherd leading them home