Today is Saturday. Saturdays are my favorite. So many wonderful things happen on Saturdays. It's cleaning day, for starters. Early in the morning, before most people are out of bed, Sally Jo Wilkins and her team of tidy-makers hustle in, chatting and laughing. They don't have to assign tasks anymore. Each person knows his or her job. By nine o'clock every window sparkles, every candlestick shines. The air is thick with the pine scented floor cleaner and fruity bathroom air fresheners. Every eye and every nose will appreciate Sally Jo's hard work. I'm beautiful, but its not about me.
Occasionally, especially in the summer, Saturdays buzz with the anticipation of another wedding. So many dresses and flowers, songs and vows. Brides cry while their fathers try to hide it. A nervous groom stumbles over his words, his attention consumed by the beautiful woman before him. And so many pictures. I often wonder how many homes I'm in, proudly displayed above the fireplace. Then I wonder, does anyone notice me? I hope not. After all, that special day is about a special couple. It's not about me.
While I enjoy my weekly cleaning, and even though each wedding brings with it a deep love and reason to rejoice, my favorite part of Saturday is the evening, right around ten o'clock. This is my special time. This is my private time with Pastor Bob.
You see, every Saturday Pastor Bob comes in to prepare for the service on Sunday. He doesn't work on the sermon or set up the sanctuary. He does all of that work during the week...usually. There have been times when I've heard him talking with God on a Saturday night, asking what, or how, he is to give a message the next day. But that's not why Pastor Bob drives in late on a Saturday night. That's not why he sometimes stays until past midnight, losing valuable sleep before the “big day”. No. Pastor Bob comes in to help me get ready for Sunday.
Every Saturday night, with a music CD softly playing in the background, Pastor Bob kneels in the center of the sanctuary. His hands and knees press against my hard, uncomfortable industrial carpet, but he doesn't seem to notice. He just bows his head, raises his voices and calls out, “Come Lord!” And He does.
I can feel Him in my rafters, coursing through the walls and the floor. He touches every fiber of my being. His breath blows through every crevasse. He fills me more completely than hundreds of men ever could. On the Easter Sunday I've never been nearly so full.
I am moved, but unable to move. I recall the words that Pastor Bob says, that someday even the rocks will cry out. Oh, if I could but say one word! But...what would I say?
Tonight I listen to Pastor Bob sing. He isn't very good, but he laughs and cries, dances and sits as he sings from his heart to the God whom He serves. Pastor Bob can feel it too.
He knows we are not alone. He talks with God as he would talk to his wife...emotionally, tenderly, passionately, but also reverently. And then he listens. He waits quietly. The music plays, bare audible, as God responds to the heartfelt cries.
Oh, if I could cry too! If I could raise my voice! If I could worship a loving God! But...what would I say?
I listen to Pastor Bob again. His heart bursts with love for his congregation. But each week, every Saturday night, he ends his conversation with God in the same way. He prays for his church, for the people, who truly make up the body of Christ. And that's when I know how I would pray, if I could.
Oh God, bless them. Touch their hearts. Move them to love. And help them to understand that each week, every Sunday morning...it's not about me.
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