We were at the ranch this weekend for another wedding, and it is simply a place that demands my full attention. I wished I could paint or sing. I try. I embarrass myself. Birds testify. They sing with the soft wind as their accompaniment. Frogs in the water bear witness with loud discussion. Even the smell of the air glorifies. As it is written, even the rocks cry out.
We are worshippers in our souls. Something deep within calls us to acknowledge and affirm that which already existed long before we got here. Our existence validates itself in communion with our Creator. That is worship, really—aligning our hearts, looking to the One who holds our life to say “You are bigger. My soul magnifies You with awe-inspired gratitude.”
So, I write. Words can paint when good. Mine seldom do. Nothing seems to capture the splendor of the moment for me. Everything points to Him, yet I know something is missing this morning. I realize my own inadequacy to fully respond. It’s Sunday, and although I feel I am more worshipful in my heart here at the ranch than I am at times in my real church, in the midst of all this beauty and evidence of Him, I still lack. I miss the corporate worship of my family in Christ standing together. I miss the baptismal font and new beginnings. I miss the feel of the Scripture in my lap, and in every hand in the room with many hearts coming hungry for a life-giving Word. There is nothing like the family of God worshipping together. So, I make a vow to be sitting in church next week and look around one more time at another kind of meeting Him place–outside, absorbing His creation on a windy spring morning.
I return to the moment that has me so caught in worship. The bride comes back to pick up a few things and she feels it, too. She stops and looks over the back lawn where all the friends and family gathered a few hours before. The people are long gone, the chairs all folded and put away. But one thing remains. There is a magnificent rustic cross that stands alone overlooking the winding creek. She pauses, then grabs her camera to snap a photo. I stand and watch as she takes it in. She knows after all the fanfare of the day before, the promises, the people, the fun—when all that is over, one Thing remains, starkly in the center—the Cross. May it be so in our lives as well, Lord.
“Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,
by the cross are sanctified;
peace is there that knows no measure,
joys that through all time abide.” (“In the Cross of Christ I Glory,” John Bowring, 1825)