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That hand on the back of my shoulder…

That hand on the back of my shoulder…
Current mood: calm

Note: This was originally written on March 24, 2008 over at Take Root and Write. It is part of my journey and I wanted it included here.

Tonight was a battle. This weeks been a battle. Emotion is rattling me. A quiet disease is draining me to exhaustion. It’s been the happy face this week that I have painted on consistently without anyone on the outside having a chance to see through. The propensity to cry takes over my day. Tears to hide become as frequent as my desire to crawl back into bed to awake and find the rested and refreshed body that has eluded me. It’s a season I have been through before. Knowing what’s behind it all gives me a reliable reminder that it will pass.
So, I do not give in. I keep my schedule simple and minimize my responsibilities.

Today was Sunday, service set for 5:00. The enemy knows when to attack the most. Putting on makeup while crying is no easy task. Feeling like I have been ambushed by my own body leads me on a unsatisfying search for clothes that look nothing like me.
A glance in the mirror reflects someone I have yet to regard as truly being me.

I hear my daughter yell from downstairs to see if I am ready, as my husband is in the car.
I think twice for a moment if I will go. Maybe just drive separate and give myself a few more minutes. But I knew if I did that I would end up not going at all. So I grabbed my socks and boots and headed down the stairs.
It’s such a surreal feeling of solitude.

My husband is patient yet not tuned into what has been my reality. Tonight they begin service with worship and an alter call for healing. My husband takes my hand as we walk up together. I have not spent much time at the alter since I became a christian 26 years ago unless it was to worship or pray for another. In the last few months, we have walked up together several times, for ourselves.
At the alter God has your back, not just by His spirit but almost always by someone, most of the time someone we don’t even know, who is standing in as His angel; our intercessory.
Tonight I felt that hand on the back of my shoulder as I stood at the alter.
Someone interceding for me. They had no idea what I was standing there wanting to receive. I could not see their face, I could not hear their voice, but I could feel God’s hands touching me through theirs. What an awesome God we serve.
I leave without ever knowing who it was. Later in service I looked up and saw a lady who I had done the exact same for weeks earlier. She was sitting around the same area I had stood when I was at the alter tonight. Her son is serving in Iraq right now, at that moment the reminder makes my eyes swell with tears; it does not catch me off guard. This too shall pass.

I thank God for that hand on the back of my shoulder tonight and I am blessed to be that hand for others. That’s why you make your way to your place of worship. God smiles when He sees us praising Him in the midst of our circumstances and reaching out to each other as well. I am so thankful for my church tonight and I am encouraged to deal with the week ahead.

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