Give me Your eyes so I can see everything I’ve been missing.

(I don’t like it when my blog is long, because I often don’t read long blogs myself.  I can’t help it.  This is what God wanted me to say today. I know He will give you the attention span to read it.)

Each year, pastors and church members from the West Virginia and Garrett County MD United Methodist Churches go to the campus of WV Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, WV for 4 days to worship and conduct business.  It ended yesterday.

God called my attention to one young man (probably high school age) pretty much from the beginning of Annual Conference.  Throughout conference he sat in the same place in the balcony of Wesley Chapel and I kept my eye on him for a few days.  There was some reason God had me watching him.  I’m not normally a creeper.  Saturday evening I was sitting with a friend as we listened to people address the congregation about their calls to ministry.  In the middle of it all, I told my friend that the young man in the balcony was going to be a pastor one day.

As the evening was drawing to a close, Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball spoke to the congregation about God calling people to the ministry.  The bishop asked people who felt God calling them to explore being in some form of pastoral ministry to come forward as the congregation sang, “Here I Am, Lord”.  I looked up at the one the Spirit gave me the eyes to see and the young man’s head was bowed.  We sang through the first verse as people moved forward.

I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard My people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin,
My hand will save.
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear My light to them?
Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord, Is it I Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if You lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.

I’ve been to conference the last 6 years as a pastor and never felt like I was supposed to see anything special.  This was awesome.  I was going to see a young man come forward to answer the call to ministry and not only that, but God had revealed this to me days earlier.  We sang through the second verse.

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have born my peoples pain.
I have wept for love of them, They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak My word to them,
Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord, Is it I Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if You lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart

Upon finishing the second verse, there was no movement from the balcony.  He was still in the balcony, head bowed and lips moving.  What was he waiting for?  Was he praying for courage?  Was he praying for a sign?  The last verse began.

I, the Lord of wind and flame,
I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them,
My hand will save…

Then it hit me.  God had me watching this young man for a reason.  God had given me His eyes for this moment.  What was I waiting for?  Was I waiting for courage?  Was I waiting for a sign?  I ran up the stairwell of Wesley Chapel, climbed over pews to stand next to the young man.  I asked him if he was being called to go to the altar.  He shook his head yes.  I asked him if he wanted to go down.  He shook his head yes.  We walk down the stairs.  We reached the bottom of the steps and there is another young man right behind us and I saw him and asked, “Are you coming to support your friend or are you being called as well?”  He said he was being called to go to the altar, too.  Praise God.

Here I am Lord, Is it I Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if You lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.

The congregation continued, starting over from the first verse.  As the music, singing, and tears continued to flow, pastors and district superintendents prayed with these young men as they all knelt before God.  The One True God that I have committed my life to had blessed me with His eyes for this moment in time.  And I thank and praise Him for allowing me that opportunity, and am even more thankful that I didn’t let the moment pass and miss it.  And rather than wonder what I’ve missed seeing the last six years, I look forward to what He allows me to see in the future.  God knows I will be looking, and I pray that I see through His eyes.

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2 Responses to Give me Your eyes so I can see everything I’ve been missing.

  1. Alan Williams says:

    Praise God for your discernment and observations, Scott! I’ve known that young man for several years, and was first just impressed that he was excited to be going to Annual Conference as youth member of conference, but then as I saw him actively engaged and eager during both the worship and business sessions, I too was humbled at his earnest desire to worship God and serve the church. Unfortunately I could not see what transpired Saturday evening from where I was sitting, but I am so blessed and so excited that you were able to provide the word of encouragement at the moment it was called for — we all need that, and we all need others to encourage us from time to time. May God bless you and future journey of our young brother, Jonathan.

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