We've gathered to pray, to send one out who will soon make his home in a new state.
Yet tonight there is something different afoot. Something more than the laying of hands and goodbyes. Something we aren't aware of yet.
One stands smiling and shares. He speaks those words that leave me speechless.
I've come back to God.
And my mouth drops open as cheers go up wildly around me. These precious ones have poured their hearts out to their Savior for months, hoping against hope that the answer would come. That one of the nine, the prodigal, would come back to the fold and believe. That doubt would fall away and Christ would reign again.
As the words enter my head, time seems to stop as I take it all in. What a priceless gift they've been given, to see their prayers answered! Looking at their faces, I realize that this will change them. It will change them all. Their faith will soar because they've bowed the knee and cried the tears and Jesus has bent down to earth to redeem! He's healed. He's restored. He's reminded us that yes, He does hear from heaven when we pray.
And for the rest of the evening, there is excitement in the air as they share the news with others. I see joy in their eyes as they stand in awe of this God. I see love in action as they welcome the lost one. But most of all? I see the Church right there in my classroom. And there is nowhere I would rather be.
(The 9th just had surgery, so she wasn't able to make it,
but she IS in the picture!)