And I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way You love us. O how He loves us.
How He Loves. John Mark McMillan.
Last night Super Friend Kristen and I went to Glen Eyrie Castle for a worship event. (Our husbands stayed home together with the little ones to, as Dreamy Scott says, watch Tim Tebow resurrect the Broncos franchise and bring hope to millions.) Fike and Dana (friends, worship pastors, Integrity artists & songwriters) invited us to be a part of a special night in their ministry. This event honored the union of Integrity Music with David C. Cook Ministries – a marriage of two luminous ministries. A sea of songwriters and worship leaders cleared a space for an intimate knot of God-seekers to invest 2 and a half hours in sacred praise. Fike and Dana, Jon Egan, Glenn Packiam, Brad Parsley, Jared Anderson, Travis Ryan, Kathryn Scott, Jennie Lee Riddle, Paul Baloche, Leslie Morgan, and more and more and more. We gathered in a small room. Every seat occupied by a soul raised in wholehearted worship.
I wept when Fike and Dana, alongside Travis Ryan, led us in worship. My heart brims over with sweet delight as I see God raise up my friends to a precious role that fulfills their anointing. We went to honor our soul knit friends. We experienced more than we came for. (Isn’t that what happens when we access Infinity?) We received bone deep renewal.
Glenn Packiam spoke a simple devotion in the midst of the night. A blind man, Bartimaeus, sat by the roadside, begging. Bartimaeus heard rumors about Jesus, rumors that whispered, Messiah? Promised Son of David? Can it be? Jesus, the heart-seer, acknowledged the blind beggar. What do you want me to do for you? Jesus asked Bartimaeus (Mark 10:51). Glenn made a profound point. Bartimaeus had a choice. He could have responded with a practical request. Money. Food. A home.
Instead, he asked for a Miracle. He asked for something divine, a request that could only be fulfilled by the Messiah.
The blind man said, Rabbi, I want to see. (Mark 10:51).
Glenn challenged us. When was the last time we asked God for something only He can give? Something celestial. Something worthy of God.
I feel a shaking in my spirit. A dividing line. What do you want me to do for you? He asks me.
I kneel as we fall into worship again. Lord, for what shall I ask You? You invite me to ask for a God-sized dream. I could ask for a practical request. The advancement of my calling, the resolution of professional troubles at Jaxon Engineering, a baby. I am Bartimaeus, blind to so much of my world. Lord, open my eyes to Your glory. For what shall I ask?
It shoots across my mind like a bullet. Forgiver.
Worship surrounds me, overcomes me. I am on my knees. Forgiver? I ponder what it means. And it slays me. Child, if you will ask, I will answer.
So, reeling, I pray. Lord, make me a forgiver. A releaser. Give me this rare gift. Make my heart slippery, so that it cannot hold onto regret and bitterness, so that all the fallout of fallenness against me slides away into the ocean of your grace. Open my clenched fists. Make me a grace-giver, like You.
Shaken by truth, God-thoughts invade me. What if Forgiver becomes my name? What if I just choose, today and forever, to be a Forgiver, a Releaser, a Grace-giver, like my Jesus. What if I stop looking at the wrongs done against me and instead choose to see who I am? What if I filter every interaction by my identity as a Forgiver? What if I never look back? I breathe it in.
Easier said than done, you think? I no longer believe that. I think it is a simple choice. Perhaps I make that choice seventy times seven times. I forgive you because it is who I am. Because of Who He Is. We are Forgivers, my Jesus and I.
So I knelt in the Presence of God and His worshippers and opened my hands, let so so so much slip away. Not for the sake of my dreams, or even for the freedom it will surely produce, but as an offering to the One Who Sees Me, who invited me to ask for something only God can do. That is my request, that I be a Forgiver.