In a tiny chapel ‘neath skies of blue, we’ve gathered. There, where hawks ride the thermals, circling high above ridges; there in the place where Nowhere begins, it is quiet, and still.
For long minutes, we wait. A holy hush falls. Heads are bowed in meditation, in prayer. Word of Life is open on laps. Then we rise and begin to sing.
From my place in the back, I listen. Around and before, it rumbles in rolling tide, a sea of men’s voices raising praise.
It is here to this campus that they’ve come–the broken, the bound, the battered, the beaten. They’ve come for re-newing and rest. For re-freshing, re-storing, re-demption, re-pentance, and the words fall around me like rain.
“I know whom I have believed…”
I look up to the front. There on the wall facing out o’er the room, a cross. A lovely light plays on its surface, its arms, the beams that once held the Christ.
“…and am persuaded that He is able…”
Hands are raising in worship, lifting in thanks, stretching out to touch healing hem. To the right, a biker in black leather and jeans. He, too, reaches upward, tears leaking. One of the broken-restored, he’s come now to visit. Arms lifted, he worships his Cross Friend.
“…to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.”
Before the cross, we sing together, young and old, men and women, black and white. One Father, one Spirit, one Son. And we, the broken.
I look down the row. There, standing by his father, is one that I love, my firstborn, my prodigal, my son. His brothers three, they, too, fill the row, and we stand in a unified line. And up there, the cross…
“Jesus is all the world to me. My life, my joy, my all.”
I look at this Saul-turning-Paul, apprehended by Jesus, the one who has come to the cross. His Jesus is becoming the world to him. His life, his joy, his all. So grateful…
The redeemed, once beaten, are still singing, still praising. “He is my strength from day to day. Without Him I would fall.”
Up front, the cross is still shining, and the ground at its foot there is level. For the blood that was shed for these men, bound in sin chains, was shed for my sin chains, too.And for yours…
No room for pride. No room here to boast. No room here for anything but Him, for we’re equals.
And family. We’re family, too.
“Beautiful life with such a Friend. Beautiful life that has no end. Eternal life, eternal joy. He’s my Friend.”