Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Call Out

Recently on an early Saturday morning, I drove to Atlanta for a meeting. I left my house a little after 6 a.m., tired and yet refreshed after a Friday night of God-time with a dear heart-friend. I was actually excited about the trip for several reasons. After the meeting, I was going to spend the next couple of days with my former college roommate in Gainesville. Boating, swimming, a worship service, good food, laughs, it was a set up for a fantastic get away.

However, I was also cherishing the two hour drive.  It was going to give me some much desired alone time with the Lord. Worship music on I was singing and praying. The Holy Spirit’s presence was so real, He was beautiful. When I got to Atlanta I was going to be sharing a devotion, but I wasn’t worried because the Lord had clearly shown me what I was to share. No questions, no doubts – it was that clear. (Wish it was like that every time!) I knew the only preparation needed at this point was to be saturated in His presence so that what hopefully would come out would be the overflow of time spent with Him.

As I got closer to Atlanta, the traffic was getting thicker, which was no surprise. I was in the middle lane with cars and trucks surrounding me and we were going at a pretty good clip. Only about 10 more miles and I would arrive at my destination. Up ahead between the lanes of cars, I spotted a weird object. About that time, a car hit it and it went flying high up into the air. It was a shovel. Not a flimsy, tiny ground breaking shovel, not a plastic snow shovel, this was a ‘let’s go out and plant a big tree’ shovel. It was like time stood still as I saw that as it began to fall it’s trajectory would put it directly through my windshield with the head of the shovel landing on me. When I saw this I didn’t swerve, thankfully because there was no place to go other than into other vehicles and cause a massive wreck.

I did the only thing I knew to do. I called out “Oh, JESUS! HELP! Not the windshield.” At that point, the only way I knew to describe it is as if something swatted it because the handle came down first (defying gravity from a heavy steel blade), and it hit the vanity plate, then my hood and then the blade hit the hood, directly in front of me. It left two big gouges in the hood, damaged the wiper and some other parts in that region, and it scratched my windshield. I had just thought it was gunk on the windshield, but in my line of vision, there it is – a scratch from the blade.

Funny what goes through your head in those moments. Things like “Death by a flying shovel?! You’ve GOT to be kidding me?!” After it hit, I made my way to the shoulder of the road to see what damage had been done. Do I call the cops? What do I do? I got back in my car and drove to the church. I had a message to deliver. Something rose up in me – a determination – maybe a mandate - to make sure that I was there on time ready to speak not my words, but His. I was trembling as I pulled into the parking lot, ran in, got sick, went back to my car. In the privacy of my little Civic, me and the precious Holy Spirit that had so invaded my car earlier had a moment together. Shalom came, the tremors left, the strength of the Lord arose within me. Initially I didn’t tell anyone what happened. I listened to people talk about their week, and when the worship time came, my thankfulness to the Lord rose to a whole new level. When I stood to speak, I told my shovel story and then I delivered what I knew I had been sent to share. I believe lives were touched, not by my words, but by His that day.

Some people may see my car and think, that’s no big deal. As I got the estimate on the repairs and had two men tell me how truly lucky I had been, I was able to tell them, the only thing I believed helped me in that situation was that I called out the name of the Lord and He heard and answered my cry.

I believe something shifted in me that Saturday morning. I looked at that shovel and realized how thin that line is between this life and the next. I’ve known it in my head, but now it’s in my heart and my passion for God and for His saturating presence has only been amplified.

I know this – you can whisper, cry, shout, mouth, or call out His name and HE will answer, He will come to you, He will RUN to you. Whatever you are facing, from flying shovels to whatever life is hurling at you – remember – HE IS JUST A BREATH AWAY!  Call out!

Deluge has a song called Whisper His Name (check it out on YouTube!). The lyrics are these:

Whisper His name Whisper His name Whisper His name And He will answer you
Whisper His name Whisper His name Whisper His name And He will come to you
Call out His name (Jesus) Call out His name (Jesus) Call out His name (Jesus) And He will come to you
Shout out His name (Jesus) Shout out His name (Jesus) Shout out His name (Jesus) And He will run to you
For when we lose our selfish pride and when we fall down on our knees
For when we lift our hands And say You’re all I need
Oh God we lose our selfish pride Lord we fall down on our knees
We lift our hands to You And say You’re all we need

You’re all we need You’re all we need You’re all we need
Glory to You in the highest place Glory to You in the highest place Glory to You in the highest place