Sunday, February 13, 2011

Turning A Corner

It is well with my soul... that was the gist of my last blog post, the one written just this afternoon, where I shared about a soreness revisiting my heart this past week.

After publishing the blog post, my family and I head out to attend The Attic.  It is the once-in-a-while Sunday evening worship service and communion that our new church offers.  On this night, it was being held at the Yonge Street Mission location on Yonge Street in downtown Toronto... a place where the homeless are ministered to, those who are broken, wounded, with no other place to go!  A great place for my sore heart to find rest, I thought!

Boy, am I glad we went!  Words may not be able to adequately describe what this evening has meant to me... but I will try to capture its essence!

As we started to worship in Scripture and in songs, a deep calm came upon me.  The theme for the evening --- breathe.  My mind went to a quote I once read on the blog, A Holy Experience, and it says:
The letters of the name of God in Hebrew are yod, hay, vav, and hay. They are infrequently pronounced Yahweh. But in truth they are inutterable...
This word {YHWH} is the sound of breathing. The holiest name in the world, the Name of Creator, is the sound of your own breathing. That these letters are unpronounceable is no accident. Just as it is no accident that they are also the root letters of the Hebrew verb ‘to be’... God’s name is name of Being itself.
~ Rabbi Lawrence Kushner
When we surrender everything and offer all as a sacrifice of thanks to Yahweh, then can we breathe... because His name is the sound of our own breathing!

As we turned our focus towards communion, I literally lived these words by Ann Voskamp:
The face of Jesus flashes.  Jesus, the God-Man with his own termination date.
With an expiration of less than twelve hours, what does Jesus count as all most important?

"And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them..." (Luke 22:19 NIV)

Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks.  He took the bread and knew it to be gift and gave thanks.

But there is more, and I read it.  Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis.  But it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning "joy." Joy.

Deep chara joy is found only at the table of the euCHARisteo - the table of thanksgiving.

As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible.  Joy is always possible.  Whenever, meaning - now; wherever, meaning - here.

Here, in the messy, piercing ache of now, joy might be - unbelievably - possible!
~ Excerpts from One Thousand Gifts, Chapter 2.
As our pastor invited us to partake communion, he also invited us to lay down at the Communion Table anything that is hindering us from breathing...

I laid down the what-ifs and the if-onlys that plaque me this past week when the soreness revisited my heart.  Then I had communion.

I felt a burden lift.  My soul felt light... I could breathe again!
The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything.  He who has learned this knows what it means to live... He has penetrated the whole mystery of life: giving thanks for everything.
~ Albert Schweitzer, Reverence for Life.
The past is the past.  I felt God saying to me that in order to fully breathe I have to live in and savour the present...

As the band started to play some more music to end the evening, we started to sing...
It is well.  It is well.
With my soul. With my soul.
It is well, it is well with my soul.
It was at that moment that I knew... I had turned a corner, from the past and into the present!  My God is indeed good to me.
Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.
~ Matthew 11:29-30 (The Message)
Unwrapping more of His love in this world.
Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with God!


  1. Thank you so much for your comment on my blog today. I'm so grateful for your encouragement, and so happy that God led you to a great new church to be a part of! You're right: He is so faithful...and so good. Thank you for reminding me.

  2. I know it’s Saturday – kind of late to read your “Walking With Him Wednesday” post - but I spent most of the week catching up to reading all of the multitude or Ann’s “Multitude Monday” – and still didn’t finish them all. I got to way over 100 of them though.

    And so I come to yours and it makes me smile – amazing how Ann’s words are like worship. That’s why we read her.

    And amen – the past is gone – it doesn’t exist – only the now – makes me smile that you noticed that – and in the noticing – made me notice.

    I was truly blessed by this (again). Thank you.

    God be with you and yours

  3. Love your post! I hopped over here from Ann's blog and it really blessed my heart! That He is our very breath, and that there is Him....Joy...Thankfulness in everything.
    We just started going through the Bible to find Jesus in every book leading up to Easter. Looking for where grace left it's kiss everywhere!
    thanks for sharing what God is doing in your life!