Last night I once again sat in the pews at Second Presbyterian Church. Only a week has past, but I don’t feel the distance as keenly as before. For a while I was home once again. That sense of home came in a scripture reading and the blessed reminder of the Gospel message of Christ. Once again I was enveloped in gracious arms welcoming a broken sinner. Once again I could rest. As I sat with eyes closed, I found myself in the midst of a strange vision.
In it I rose quickly into the air like a leaf blown suddenly by a gust of wind, but as quickly as I had risen I fell only to be tossed about in all directions before being thrown up once again. Does anyone remember the devices used to draw the lottery numbers on live TV? Ping pong balls swim about on gusts of air in an enclosed space. Sometimes they might ride the gust in what appears to be a shaky balance before rocketing off to another place in the chamber. That image is the best description I’ve been able to come up with for what I experienced in that moment. Carried upward to the heights of heaven before plummeting into shaky and violent gusts of hope and distress, anxiety and struggle, joy and pain… in a word – life.
As I sat there contemplating the vision before me I realized the lifting wind is faith. Belief in the finished work of Christ and trust in His declaration of love and salvation. And the church reminds we saints that we are sinners redeemed by grace. Men and women saved not by any work of their own, but by the finished work of Christ. These reminders, like sign posts, point the way to updrafts of faith that we might be lifted up once again.
I know my life will probably always resemble that ping pong ball caught in the winds, at least this side of heaven. Faith is also a moment by moment walk. But maybe one day I’ll walk buoyed by the air of faith as one who walks among the clouds. Until that day I’ll keep looking for those rising gusts to lift me toward the heavens. Thankfully, God’s given me a family here to help show me the way – His Church.