Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Church (12/06/07)
- TITLE: Union
By Holly Westefeld
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"My Savior and Lord," I whisper, slipping to my knees without shifting my gaze from His countenance. At length, as He extends a hand to raise me to my feet, I draw my eyes downward to glimpse the faint scar, but it now pales in intensity to the love enveloping me from His eyes.
"Come! There are so many with whom you will have a joyous reunion." He guides me toward such a multitude, that I am certain it will be impossible to locate a single familiar face, but as He moves on to welcome others, I am caught up in a powerful bear hug.
"I remember you," I laugh somewhat breathlessly. "You were the Sunday School superintendent at the church I grew up in. No Sunday was complete without one of your hugs. They made a little girl, dropped off for Sunday School with just siblings, always feel so special and welcome."
Out of the corner of my eye, I see a sweetly smiling lady approach, who enfolds me in her grandmotherly arms. "You taught Sunday School, though not my class. Still, you invited me to your home, along with your students, to decorate Easter eggs, and asked me to accompany you to a nearby nursing home to sing at Christmas time."
I excuse myself as I spot another woman over her shoulder, running to throw my arms around her. "You started out as my sixth grade teacher, igniting and nurturing my love of writing, but soon metamorphosed into one of a number of extra "moms" the Father blessed me with. During the pain and confusion of my parents' divorce, and other teenage turmoil, you were my human anchor, always listening, full of wise counsel." I chuckle. "And just the other day, we were wondering when we'd be able to get together next."
Reluctantly, I relinquish my dear friend, as others await a word with her.
Winding my way through the throng, I spy a couple encircled by many brothers and sisters, and patiently await a chance to thank them. "You picked me and my friends up regularly for Sunday School and youth activities, even though you had a small child to care for, and faithfully laid a foundation of God's Word in my heart, which I'm certain prevented me from sinking in future storms."
Stepping aside so others may greet them, I nearly collide with another one of my "moms", and we steady each other with a tight hug. "You drove me, week in and week out, to practice with the handbell choir, even though the mornings we played were the only times I was present in your Sunday School class, as I spent most of my time with friends at another church. What touched me even more, however, was that you listened to the prompting of the Spirit and coordinated a collection to buy me a second-hand piano for Christmas, an answer to a prayer of which you had no human knowledge. I never stopped playing."
A tap on my shoulder causes me to turn, and I am instantly swept into a most special embrace. "I had the incredible privilege of leading you to the Lord, you who would then love me even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it."
We move on together, greeting those whose lives have blessed our union through the years, pastors, brothers and sisters with whom we worshipped and served, missionaries for whom we prayed, two couples with whom we shared sweet fellowship over lunch at a resort, all of us moving on together, unraveling the profound mystery of the church, the bride, now in union with our Beloved for all eternity.
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