He Touched Me
He Touched Me
And oh the joy that floods my soul…
The joy that floods my soul…
What powerful words to start this glorious Sunday morning. The song that inspired Pastor Bill’s sermon today as he held his annual Car Blessing. The thought behind the words that got Bill to throw his bible onto his podium, look at it, and visibly brush it aside as he looked at all who lined the pews this morning. The magnitude of the gesture had one racer, sitting behind me, utter, “Here we go,” quietly followed by chuckles from his counterparts (and a sheepish, “I heard you,” grin from yours truly).
He touched me,
He touched me,
the joy that floods my soul;
and now I know
He touched me,
and made me whole.
Today Bill asked God to reach his inspirational, and protective hand, upon all of us in front of him, behind the steering wheel of the drivers as they speed 150 mph down the track, and every one of us (present or not) as we meander through this crazy little thing called life.
It is here, at this junction, that I usually provide his words, Bill’s, but today I struggle in this arena because, for as much as they “touched me” they alude me too. He was completely off the cuff, no written script to follow, nothing to pass along to me to help me word things as he would. And no recording to pull from either. It is devine intervention to lead me to retrace Bill’s footprints in the sand. His guidance, his conquering of the church of faith, to pull me forth into God’s trusting embrace as I fumble for how Bill would say what I want to reiterate for all those that were unable to sit there, and engage personally into the dynamics that are only Bill. The passion behind every syllable uttered by Bill as he guides us forward into God’s loving arms through scripture, experience, and stories.
There are a few things that I recall so clearly it is as though Bill is standing here, in my home, albeit a shamble at the moment, guiding my fingers across the letters of my keyboard. The first, and I think the most important message is not about the rock with which Jesus shed blood, sweat and tears, but about the understanding our lives are not to believe in Jesus but to trust in Jesus. He referenced the book of John.
What a difficult concept. This thing we give so carefully, so qualified, and that is so easily broken. It’s funny, this thing called trust. We ask our children to give us their trust without ever giving them better reason than, “because I am your Mom/Dad.” That is what Pastor Bill is saying to us. Give Jesus, give God, our trust. God is our father. Jesus our brother and savior. Don’t question, as we ask our children to not question us, but to give our trust willingly. Remove the qualification. Remove the need to prove that they are worthy of our trust. Open your heart, open your mind, and accept the love they wish to shower upon our spirit.
In return, take this trust (through His touch) and provide it unceremoniously to another. Don’t make them earn it. Give it. Let them handle this trust without qualifying its existence. It may be bruised, hurt, damaged, but keep handing it to them. Eventually maybe the spirit will move whomever to remove their guard and allow your glory, through the ides of God, to touch them too.
Is Pastor Bill a man of his word? Well, I can tell you, that from my own experience, yes he is (on many levels). See, a year ago, I was all but a foundling in the church of Plymouth. Well, truthfully, just over a year ago (14 months). I happened upon the Plymouth blog, truly by happenstance, and then was guided to the posting seeking someone to take over this blogging responsibility. I love to write, I wanted to have more opportunity to grow religiously and as a part of Plymouth, so I threw my, “I’ll do it,” out there. Pastor Bill, not knowing me at all, smiled and said, “Okay.” I was stunned. No “interview”, qualifying my intentions, knowledge, he just trusted me. With my first few postings there was a bit of harshly stated comments that threw me for a loop, but Pastor Bill, again, stepped up and reassured me that the situation was not about me but something else beyond my knowledge and understanding. I never questioned Bill nor he I. We just trusted each other. Maybe it is his presence, or the fact that he gave trust so easily, or just who I’ve always been, but whatever lead me to it, I just knew he would handle this and all would be right. And it is – right, beautiful and wonderful.
I trusted Bill at his word.
I had, and have, many more reasons to accept Bill’s trust than he mine, yet he never stopped trusting me, nor has he ever stopped trusting those that seemed so willing to create strife. Bill holds the door open for trust, positive intentions, and trust God in whatever the outcome will be. Where we may criticize and be scrupleless of the outcome, through the negative Bill will expose the positive, because he trusts like most mortals do not. His trust in the spiritual soul thrust its swordlike self into doubt and cynicism.
And here one may ask, what if things ended differently; how would I feel.
He would still have my trust.
Because Bill walks in the spirit of God offering trust and acceptance
like a parched man takes water from a stranger.
There is no questioning or qualifying. He made no promises how the outcome would be,
just that he would work on the situation.
What if it took weeks to accomplish, would I still trust in Bill?
The answer is yes.
He never said it would happen overnight, or the next day.
He provided a blank check on the time to resolve the matter.
The rest would be my own personal expectation
thrust upon him which creates undenounced expectations.
It is here that we must own our choices,
our creating an environment which caters to
the ugly, the evil, of human nature instead of
providing the canvas of security and
This brings me home to the series talking about intentions. In our intentions, those we give and those we receive, trust the intentions to be of sound quality before disregarding them. Offer the trust and here God will bring it to you threefold.
Pastor Bill began idly tossing a rock during the beginning part of his discussion today. And he said, “My favorite Sunday is coming up – Palm Sunday.” On Palm Sunday he gives out rocks, and as he addressed all of us, he focused in on those that were their for their annual car blessing – the racers. “If you hold onto this rock because you think it will bring you good luck, throw it out your window the next time you are driving down the track. I don’t believe in luck. I believe in the message of God. I believe in trust.” Bill reminded us all that the rock is not a “lucky rock” but a reminder that wherever we go we take Jesus’ blood, sweat, and tears with us. And though he knew that life was going to end for him, he trusted not only in those that followed him but he trusted in the message, the method, of God. The rock is our continued symbol from Jesus via Pastor Bill, to trust that he rides shotgun, he holds our hand as we walk forward, and that no matter what may happen, trust he won’t leave you or those that you may leave.
Hold trust as your guiding light to salvation.