Called Out in Worship and Sent Out by Love
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©2001 Susan M. Wagner
I wandered the highways and byways, sleeping under bridges in the rain, walking deserted country roads, traveling day after day but going nowhere. My clothing was torn and filthy, my hair matted, my face bruised and dirty. I walked with bloody feet that burned like fire with every step. I had traded my shoes for a crust of bread, my coat for a few drops of water. Lost to me were family, gender, identity: stolen long ago.
As I now stumbled aimlessly down yet another lonely road, hungry, thirsty, and weary, I began to hear a sound through the thick, silent fog that enshrouded me. A low, mournful wail began on the threshold of my hearing. I strained to hear, to determine whether the sound came from within or without, for the wail was as the desperate, painful cry that dwelt in my own heart. The soundtrack of my journey.
As I plodded forward through the mist, step after agonizing step brought me closer to the sound that began to vibrate among the trees and grasses. One note, sustained, beckoned me to seek, to search, to veer off my winding, endless path. I followed the call. I found foothold among the rocks and slippery slopes that led from the road, and the sound changed in pitch and volume and rhythm. Still quietly mournful, the sound became a melody that spoke to me, retelling all my wounds and brokenness and bemoaning the pervasive sadness in my heart.
How did the sound know the darkness and emptiness of my soul? It answered by dipping lower. It responded by sustaining a tone that reverberated through my being and made my breath catch. I stood for a moment and allowed the note to reach deep inside of me, connecting me to the source that knew my sadness so well. I knew I had to find the source of that sound.
I struck out again, renewed with hope and purpose. My feet had finally found direction. The sound took on a new timbre, rising in pitch, and the single voice became a gentle love song. Slowly rising and dipping and ebbing and flowing, this voice reached my dead emotions and my heart received new breath. Flames from my soul rose in cadence with the voice on the wind. I picked up my pace, leaping over hurdles and obstacles, responding to the plaintive call coming through the leaves.
The sound grew louder and through the darkness, a shaft of light broke through the darkness. A lone man stood illuminated, his face turned towards the sky, his arms holding aloft an instrument, from which emanated the cry of my heart. I slowed and approached only so far. Light shone from the manís face, and though his eyes were closed, his heart was laid bare through the music he evoked from the violin. There was nobility in the manís countenance and strength in his stature, but as I stared, I realized it was a reflection from some higher source. Love, honor, thankfulness, and joy came through the man and I knew that he was not the source of the call, but merely a vessel for its delivery.
The shaft of light that embraced the man began to soften and enlarge. Others came into view and the music began to swell with additional rhythm, a driving beat that bore honor and glory. Voices began to raise a thunderous sound of praise. As the violin seemed to play with a life of its own, it told the tale of my depths of depravity and rose to exclaim the heights of my hopes and dreams. My heart felt as though it would burst with emotion and I staggered forth towards the massive throng. I saw that they were very much like me, tattered and torn, ripped from the pages of humanity, having been drawn by the otherworldly call. The manís fingers deftly drew the bow across the strings, releasing sweet harmonies of healing.
Light continued to wash across the mass of people and reached my feet. As the first tendrils of illumination touched me, warmth rose within me and I was enveloped within the soothing light. The hidden source of the music made Himself known to me and my hands reached out to Him of their own accord. The passions that drove Him to my redemption bathed me through the celebratory notes that filled the air.
I lifted my eyes and saw that I, and all the others, had been changed. Our tattered garments had been replaced with clean, white robes. Crowns of gold shone upon our heads. Time held no meaning as we communed with the One who had called us to this banquet of the soul. As the music faded back to the lone voice of the violin, we bowed in quiet gratitude. We were each led back to our given highways to share the gifts we had been given with others in need. The haunting music never left our hearts as we served to amplify His call to nations and generations.
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Beautiful article Susan. What I perceived from this, was a luke warm church being drawn to the true source. Loosed from their filthy rags of self righteousness, and clothed in beautiful white robes of God's righteousness, and His salvation, then sent out to minister His love. Blessings, Sharon