"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." - 1 Chronicles 16:29
Are there certain places that remind you more of God's presence than others? I'm thinking of some of the impressive cathedrals I've visited, where shafts of light shine through colorful stained-glass windows. Perhaps a pipe organ is playing softly in the background, and the sheer beauty of it makes me want to whisper, "Surely, the presence of the Lord is in this place."
Other locations of worship may be less imposing, but nevertheless still indelible in my memory. My father's summer tent meetings at Maple Grove in Lancaster County come to mind. I remember kneeling in the sawdust at the rustic altar, and the feeling of being wrapped in God's love, like Amish Maggie Esh in my novel, The First Love. And there was a lone willow tree in our yard where I asked for the Lord's guidance for all the days of my life, and where I sat and wrote my longish short stories and shared them with my cousin Joyce on weekends when she and her mother visited. Also, as a little girl, I liked to pray while standing in the east-facing window of the bedroom my sister, Barbara, and I shared, asking God every morning, "Is Jesus coming back today?"
There must be special places, besides a church building, where you feel close to our Lord. Perhaps while you walk along a country road, like dear Rhoda Miller does in The Timepiece, or, like Jesus did, on a mountainside. Your special place to worship might be strolling barefoot in the surf at the ocean or in your own kitchen as you cook or bake.
Recently, while our children are home from their school, during the pandemic, we've been spending time out on the deck at sunset, talking about the beauty all around us—and pointing out God's fingerprints on our lives in the midst of the world's present chaos.
The amazing thing really is that we don't have to go anywhere at all to worship our great God, do we? We can offer praise and worship no matter where we may be. And prayer is so needed now, for all of us to come together in a spirit of unity. Remember, He sticks closer than a brother; He is our Comforter, our Counselor, our Strength, and our Song!
I'm also thinking about my dad this month of Father's Day, so very grateful for everything he taught my sister and me about the act of worship, the power of prayer, and being an instrument of peace by reaching out to those who need our Lord Jesus most. le you so desire, in His way and time.
A most wonderful Father's Day to all the dads!
I'm well into the writing of my Fall 2021 novel, The Beginning, a stand-alone Amish novel set in Hickory Hollow. My upcoming novel, The Stone Wall, is set to go to the printers and is releasing on September 8.
I also post almost every day on my official Facebook page, and I’ve launched a brand new "thank you" card in the Amish Cheer card line with my sister, Barbara. Take a look at amishcheer.com. There's a very special surprise on this one, by the way, and another interesting backstory, too! We're shipping every week, spreading much-needed encouragement and cheer!