Thursday, September 12, 2013

Audience of One

This summer, my husband Mark and I had the treat of an entire week at the beach - just the two of us. Unheard of in our life with a very active teenager, but Emma had chosen to give up her beach vacation to volunteer as a Jr. Counselor at Centri-kid camp that same week.
So, with the trip already planned and vacation time approved, we took off together and enjoyed the trip for the unexpected blessing that it was.

Each morning, we would head out to the beach early, coffee in hand and take a long walk along a mostly still empty stretch of the coastline. These mornings were such a special way to re-connect, not only with each other, but with God.
We marveled together at the beauty of the sky, the clouds, the sun, the waves, the shells -  the entirety of the oceans' gifts.
The majesty of God on display for all to see.

Two mornings in particular we encountered the young man in the photo.
He was standing on the beach playing his guitar.
He paid no attention to anyone passing by, he was completely in the moment, singing with all he had in praise to our amazing God who created the glorious scenes around him.
As we walked slowly by him, we could hear his beautiful voice and guitar strums as he sang -
"nothing compares to your embrace, light of the world, forever reign."

Forever Reign.

One of my favorite worship songs delivered in a way that touched my heart and blessed me beyond belief. Here was a young man, so in love with his Savior, he was unafraid to express it in his unique way for anyone to see and hear.

Oh, that we would ALL live this way - unashamed, unafraid, unfettered by the judgements of others.

Our worship is for an audience of ONE.
The only One who matters in the life of a believer.
The One that the Bible says the very rocks will cry out for if we fail to praise Him.

It was more than obvious who the audience was there on the beach those days.

The second day we encountered this young man, an older woman noticed me taking his photo. Now, since I'm not the "stalker" type, I figured I'd better go talk to her.
Turns out, it was his Mom. I told her how much her son had blessed us with his music and his boldness. That he had so impressed me that I had shared about him on Instagram.

She was very gracious and told us that he was part of the worship team at their home church in Michigan. He had just taken part in a worship leader's conference and their family was vacationing before going back home.

If you're a parent of a Christian teen, it is no small thing to have the assurance that your child is walking with Jesus. I am thankful every day that my Emma loves Jesus and is actively pursuing Him in her life.

Mom to Mom, we connected that morning over the common bond of our faith and the assurance that our children were following hard after Jesus.
What a gift to receive there on this stretch of beach.

I don't know this young man's name, or his Mom's, probably never will on this side of Heaven, but I'm pretty sure that I'll hear him singing and playing his guitar again someday - when we are all together at last, praising our King, face to face.

With a Courageous Heart,

Here is an acoustic version of Forever Reign, recorded in studio at K-Love Radio.
If you hit play and listen with your eyes closed, you'll hear it a bit like how we heard it on the beach this summer. And maybe, you'll see there in your mind's eye a glimpse of what Heaven will be like too.

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