In my Lenten journey this year, I was determined to create a blog of short stories to encourage and inspire, stories of truth and humility. With Holy Week beginning on Sunday, I am taking my first step to create this blog. I pray the words I share might enhance your Christian faith as we give all praise and glory to our Lord Jesus Christ .
And so, without further ado, here is my first installment of Reflections of a Cracked Pot...
By Charlotte “Charlie” Volnek
I nestled a little closer to my husband, reaching for his hand as I proudly watched our young daughter singing in the church youth choir. With a quick wave she smiled and joined her fellow students in song. I gazed from the girls and boys, all dressed up in their Easter best, to the sparkling white lilies dressing the altar. I breathed deeply, the smell of spring permeating the air.
The church was full. Not an empty seat seemed to be found from the looks of it. I nudged my mother and pointed to the priest stepping down from the altar. “Watch this,” I whispered. “I love what Father does here.”
The priest walked down from his chair and stood at the base of the steps, a simple brown wicker basket in his hands. A little girl walked up shyly and dropped a handful of coins in the basket. Father smiled and nodded. The small voices of the choir drifted sweetly as other children moved to give their offerings...another girl, a little boy, a brother and sister. One couldn’t help but smile at all the children, giving to the church not just money, but the joy of their precious youth.
A small, blonde-haired boy crept up the side aisle. I noticed him only because he moved slower than the other children...quietly...stealthily...inching closer and closer to the priest. He lifted his hand to the basket and in an instant, snatched out a dollar bill. “I got one! I got one!” he squealed happily as he spun around and raced back down the aisle.
From the back of the church I could hear a father groan and try his best to shuffle to the end of the pew as quietly as possible. But it was too late to stop the boy. The priest grinned as snickers surged through the church. Fathers tilted their heads and laughed. Mothers gasped, then chuckled along with the men. The choir almost halted as the students tried to stifle their giggles, turning from one to another and pointing.
I laughed out loud, enjoying the joy and happiness radiating through the worshipers. Did that little boy realize what he had just invoked with this one simple phrase, “I got one!” Could anything have created such delight today? I beamed throughout the homily, so much joy filling my soul, the presence of my Lord surrounding me in His loving embrace.
But I’m ashamed to say, I had not always felt so close to the Lord. Many years I wandered. Too long, I let the world lead me, stealing my time for our precious Jesus. Not that I didn’t believe, I just didn’t trust the Lord to make my decisions for me. I didn’t need him. After all, he gave me free will to do what I wanted…right?
In time, and with great humiliation, I became painfully aware of how wrong I was. I was floundering in the sins of the world and I needed Him. I loved Him. I wanted Him. And luckily for me, our Lord is ever faithful and patient. I fell on bended knees, a sorrowful sinner, and relinquished my life, once again, back to Christ.
Back in my seat, I listened to the cherub voices of our young choir. I smiled as I envisioned a similar service, only this one in heaven, before our Lord God. A multitude of angels and saints gathered in His glory and honor, their brilliance filling the temple. A hush filled the gleaming room as the heavenly beings bowed their heads in worship of our Master. Suddenly, an angel...my angel...was running down the aisle after witnessing me on my knees that day.
“I got one! I got one!” she yelled in triumph.
All the angels and saints rejoiced with shouts of Alleluia and songs of praise as my heavenly Father smiled happily and nodded knowingly. He knew me. He had waited for me. Through his generous and patient love, he had allowed me to come home to him again.
The youth choir finished their song of praise and beamed with pride. I leaned back in my pew, God’s love and promise surrounding me. I was at peace.
The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
The LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.