Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Body Language

Carol Condon

She was hidden in the crowd. At first I didn’t even notice her. The room was full of little clusters of people all engaged in conversation and laughter. I was looking for a friend of mine, and that was when I saw her. She had her shoulders slumped forward and her head lightly bent with her eyes looking downward. She wasn’t saying a word, but I heard her body language loud and clear, “Please don’t notice me.”

It brought back memories of my early youth when I would slump to a lesser height in order to blend in with the other girls my age. I would squeeze my feet into shoes that didn’t adequately fit but were the size I wanted to be. My heart went out to this young girl who stood so lost among her peers. I wanted so badly to slip up to her and whisper the words that I still daily speak to myself, “Hold your head up, place your shoulders back, and walk with confidence.”

If our physical posture can speak so loudly, what does our spiritual posture have to say? Do we squeeze into areas of our ministry that are way too small for our calling instead of accepting the “right fit” that stands outside of our comfort zone but inside of the door that the Lord has opened for us? Do we slouch forward with downcast eyes begging silently to “not be noticed” instead of walking in the confidence of His Promises?

How many hungry people and extreme God opportunities are missed everyday because of the volume of our spiritual body language? Take the challenge of whispering along with me each day. “Hold your head up, place your shoulders back, and walk in the confidence of His calling.”

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

“Yes, Lord, You Put”

Carol Condon

She walked in and was settled in a pew towards the back of the sanctuary. Along with her walker, was a purse, notebook, and a cup of crushed ice. There was a skilled staff member that helped her get settled in that first service.

I remember looking back with questions. Who was she? How did she know about our church? Was she alone? Did she know Jesus? So many questions but seemingly no answers as when approached she only replied with, “You put.”

We got her story from the attendant who brought her back the next week and we pieced it together with the words that Beulah would scribble in her notebook with a hand that she had never written with prior to her illness. Years earlier Beulah had had a stroke. She no longer could operate as the wife or the mother that she had been. She was reduced to a skilled care facility and pretty much forgotten. One day an attendant overheard her shouting “You put!” loudly from her room. Upon entering she was found pointing frantically at an advertisement in the local yellow pages. It was the ad from our church. That is how Beulah found us.

She came every time the doors were opened carrying the same things each week. She was paralyzed on her right side and had lost her speech except for the 4 words: “yes”, “no”, and “you put”, but that never stopped her. It wasn’t long before she saw hands in the air and she responded by raising her “good hand”. She couldn’t clap, but she would raise her arm and shake it back and forth as clapping an invisible hand only seen by her. When voices were raised in prayer we could her add, “You put!”

As young people we would gather around Beulah each week praying with her. It was then we heard her add that final word to her vocabulary that completed the only sentence we ever heard her speak, “Yes, Lord, You put.” How precious that sounded to each of us! I could only imagine the dancing in Heaven when those four little words reached into the Throne Room.

Beulah has been gone from our presence for many years, but not from our minds. So many times I saw her working so hard to worship as “us”, but we were busy trying to worship like her. She sent forth worship that came straight from her heart to Him. She used everything that she had and gave it all to her newfound Savior.

Now I ask the question, “Do I/you worship with the passion and energy that Beulah did?” Do our words mean as much as her simple “Yes, Lord, You put?” The next time you enter into a time of worship, I ask you to first close your eyes and imagine this little precious lady with one arm folded in her lap and one hand raised in the air, with a smile on her face and her eyes looking upward saying “Yes, Lord, You put.”