I sometimes go to Oklahoma for work, which is awesome.
Yes, you read that correctly.
While I do think the state gets a bad rap, the reason I enjoy visiting has nothing to do with the tornado-swept plains, and everything to do with my family members who live there, including my favorite grandparents.
My grandpa gives me Starbucks mugs and my grandma gives me flattery. I'm not sure which is more appreciated.
This morning before I left, Grandma invited me to join them for the Association of Retired Ministers and Missionaries breakfast. I envisioned myself joining a line of octogenarians waiting for their scoop of bulk prepared egg product. I can't say I was particularly looking forward to it, but I said sure, because I know she enjoys the chance to show off her family.
Well, we arrived a tad late and joined a line of octogenarians waiting for eggs. But, there was also fruit, smoked bacon, and the eggs were crazy good. Huh. But that wasn't the coolest part.
I made a little small talk with the table, and they were all super nice. But that wasn't the coolest part, either.
Then, the master of ceremonies got up and thanked the musical guest and the breakfast sponsor, and said, "There are over four thousand years of service represented in this room."
I almost choked on my eggs. Four thousand years. That's a lot of service. I mean, Jesus only ascended two thousand years ago, so that room could get us to His birth and back.
Wow. That was pretty cool.
But the best part of all was when, after we'd eaten and the prayer concerns had been read aloud, and a missionary woman in her seventies had read from the word, when a guy named Carl quietly got to his feet and shuffled to the lectern. We all stood too, then quiet Carl opened his mouth and cried out to Heaven. Around me, voices echoed His praises and requests. Passion for the Most High was stirred, and God was glorified, and His presence, so abundantly present in those hearts, flooded the place.
I realized as I felt the touch of God on my heart more fervently than I have in a while, that I was blessed to be standing among God's elite. His A-team. These are the varsity players, with years and years of hardcore experience and training and winning. These are the inner circle. People who've got over fifty years of knowing my God and serving with Him. And I got to join in as they talked to Him. I got to raise my voice in the Lord's Prayer with them. I got to add my droplet of passion and experience to their river of love, and experience the deluge of the Lord's response.
That, my friends, was the coolest part.
I admit that the past week and a half has been a bit of a personal drought. And this morning, it rained.
One of the most beautiful parts was that for these faithful servants, this was just another Wednesday morning.
My Jesus, I love you. I love your goodness and grace and faithfulness. Thank you for the chance to see you reflected in the lovely hearts of these, your Dear Ones. May I grow as close to you. All my meager love.