This is the Day…Tuesday
June 15, 2021
“In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.” (Ezekiel 1:1)
I grew up in a family of church goers. We did not participate in every church event during the week but, every Sunday morning, we were in Sunday School and Worship. My Dad would say, “If the preacher cracks the church door open, Mom will have us there!” And he was correct. Mom was the driving force behind our church attendance. She was a stoic worshiper and a staunch Presbyterian. No Amens or outward expressions from Mom. But she was always present, always engaged, and she knew the importance of introducing her children to the experience of worshiping God.
In those early years, I did not pay much attention to the service. I was intent on spending my time doodling on a scratch piece of paper or daydreaming about what I would do once I was let out of church jail. Then one Sunday, I pulled one of the pew Bibles out of the rack, opened it to the very beginning and read for a while. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and void and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’ and God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light ‘day’ and the darkness He called ‘night.’ And there was evening, and there was morning, the first day.”
As I read those words, something “clicked” inside my ten-year old head. This is why Mom had pushed, pulled, and dragged me to church every Sunday. This is where I can learn about the one who created me and everything else. This book was about the one who gave me my home, my brothers, and my love for chocolate. Suddenly, the most important thing to me was not playing in the woods or riding my bike. I wanted to know more about this one who creates.
For the next few weeks, I began paying attention at church. I sang the words of the hymns, I thought about the responsive readings, I listened to the preacher explain the Bible stories. I read about Jesus helping people and loving people even when they were bad. I read about how God was always beside me. And then, in the eleventh month of my tenth year, on the fifteenth day, during the last song, I went down to see the preacher at the front of the church. I made a logical, intelligent decision to dedicate my life to Jesus.
No, the heavens did not open up like they did for Ezekiel, and I did not immediately begin seeing visions. But I became a new creation. God had created me for the second time. I still was not perfect, and I still had a lot to learn. But now my imperfection was okay because Jesus was perfect.
As I went back to my pew that morning, my stoic worshiping Mom was smiling with tears in her eyes. And in the eleventh month of her forty-first year, on the fifteenth day, she was the one that saw the heavens open up because she had led her fourth son to God.