Monday, November 12, 2007

"Davicho" (or "little David") stands between us in Pacasmayo, Peru. He is the young man BJ gave the guitar to before leaving Peru the last time. He is an amazing musician on multiple instruments. The guitar has been used all over the country to lead worship.

As the holidays draw near, and many of us look forward to spending time with family and overeating, I was reminded yesterday of the importance of being present to worship our Savior.

A young man I work with (who also spent the summer in Peru with us) came to church yesterday, though he has been fighting a virus (that most of us in the office have passed around).

As I hugged him I asked him why he wasn't home in bed, getting the rest I knew he needed.

His response?

"Because I really want to be here!"

His reply was not cavalier. He did not say this as if to imply he had no choice. His answer was full of significance. His voice filled with passion, and his desire made clear.

He was there to worship his Savior!

It seemed as though taking self into account and considering how he was feeling did not even enter into the picture for him. He was there because he loves Jesus, and needed to worship Him.

His attitude moved me. It also stood in sharp contrast to what I witnessed next.

My attention is routinely drawn to families with a single son. Watching their child is something that always stirs my heart. I remember many things in those moments and am filled with hope and joy.

This day found a family seated in the row in front of us. Deanna and I had arrived late to church and so we sat in the back. Deanna was on my right, and this sharp family was immediately in front and to my left.

I was initially struck by words the mom had written on her bulletin (as we stood to sing). In large letters, she had scrawled out the word "THANKSGIVING."

Immediately my mind rewound to views of my own family around a table where no matter what centerpieces were on it, the turkey commanded my full attention. The air wafted with aromas of baking pies, burning candles and all sorts of other incredible confections.

I understood this mothers anticipation. My own is filled with longings to already be with family and yearnings for memories of yesterday.

I thought about my sick friend who at 18 was hundreds of miles away from his own family. When I'm sick, I want to be cared for. He seemed to be feeling better, but I still wondered if he didn't miss his mother, doting on him in his time of need. Especially with the holidays drawing near.

The son of the family in front of me reminded me of BJ in that he could not sit still. He moved constantly and had to find things to occupy him.

At different points in watching, I observed the parents writing. Even the son entered in. When I saw a full page of notes on the fathers lap, I was impressed. My own attention had been drawn away from my pastors message, and my notes were scant.

The notes got passed down the aisle to the son, and came into my 'nibby-nosed' focus.

While it is far better for me to reserve my nose for imbibing Thanksgivings past and future, I confess I was invading their privacy with this sense.

They had not been taking notes at all. Each of them in turn had been writing their "Christmas lists."

I thought about my sick friends statement..."because I really want to be here!"

I thought about the pre-occupation of upcoming celebrations with family.

I realized my own attitude had more to do with selfishness on this day, than a seeking heart.

I do not write to indict the family. I write to point out that if a pole was taken in churches across our land, I believe far more of us would be occupied with matters of our own contentment, than those of our Saviors longings.

Family is so important. Holidays are times to be spent celebrating with family.

Let us not forget who is to be worshipped and adored above all, as we enter into the "most wonderful time, of the year!"



At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post today dad. I am leading an Advent study as a short topic SS class. In preparing this week the material reminds me that we need to be reminded (about Emmanuel), time after time, LIKE CHILDREN. In so many ways, though we are 'adults' we are also so child-like spiritually. From our attention span to our understanding and living out His purpose and plan for our lives. Perhaps this is why so many create Christmas lists, doodles and games on their bulletins during worship?!
Mark \O/

At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you dad.

At 12:51 AM, Blogger Tiffany Evans said...


I came across your blog tonight...I don't remember how...and am amazed by your journey. Your family is truly inspiring. I pray my children have the faith and desire to pursue Christ as BJ did.

Many, many blessings.


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