She is weak.
She is frail.
She is tired.
She is ready.
And still...she longs to worship.
We surrounded her bed and opened up our hymnals. As we began to sing I made what I thought was my first mistake, and it had nothing to do with the notes I was singing. I found myself intently watching.
I watched her face as we began to sing. She was hearing our words and she meant every one that we sang. She soon began to cry...and that was all it took for me too. When she was able she would mouth the words with us. Worship connects.
I remember the last time I saw a weakened, frail woman mouth the words to her favorite hymns. It was the days after the sudden death of my grandfather. My grandma sat in her living room as my husband played her piano, eyes closed, mouthing the words. She was tired. She was weak...and yet she longed to worship. Worship soothes.
My favorite part of tonight was a tiny and simple gesture from her submissive heart to her Savior. Her King. Her God. As we sang, she lifted her hand in worship. It barely left her side...but I saw. Her heart was clear and if no one else noticed...Heaven was watching. Her Father was well pleased with her worship tonight. Worship sacrifices.
Tonight was not about any of us who gathered there. It was sad and yet so so beautiful. I can not imagine not being by her side tonight. As if my comfort would ever be more important than hers. And in true God-like-fashion...although I went hoping to be just a tiny blessing amidst the sorrow...I left humbled by her unwavering obedience and love for her Creator. Worship obeys.
Tonight was an instruction for ME to raise my standard. To stop making excuses in waiting for my purpose jump out at me. I, too, want to finish strong. I want to worship with every ounce of strength I have. I want to raise my hands in submission to God until I can't anymore. I want to walk in immediate obedience. I want to sacrifice my comfort just to show God how much I adore Him. I am raising the bar in my life. I have seen what a gentle warrior looks like, and I am unwilling to stay where I've been. Not everyone gets the chance to witness such a powerful display of surrender. I will not waste the moments I spent with her. I promise...I will let them forever change me.
Dear Sweet LaRue...
You truly are a treasure. A beautiful example to anyone who has had the chance to see your heart. A worthy representation of what the love of Christ looks life. A true worshipper. A mighty warrior. A kind and gentle helpmate to your family and friends. A lover of Truth. A strong, meek daughter of the King of kings. A follower of the Word of God. A patient teacher. A storyteller. A lover of bad jokes. (<--Emil) You have blessed too many people to count. Your legacy lives on in the hearts of the ones that you have touched. Finish strong Rue. You. Are. Loved.