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I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of waiting. Waiting for a red light to change, waiting at a long line in the supermarket, waiting to hear from God about my future… just not a fan.

 

Two weeks ago, I thought I would go to Thursday evening prayer. I had been invited over two months earlier by a friend, but hadn’t “made it there” yet.  According to the email, it was held in Smoky Springs, a retirement home, in their chapel on the third floor. I google mapped it, and drove there, aiming to not be late.

 

I got there at 6:35, and found my way to the chapel, sure I was sneaking in late. But the chapel was empty, there was no one there. I had a flashback to my college years, when as a senior (irony, right?) I started a prayer time in the college chapel from 9-10pm for the Intervarsity group. Some nights were full, with 10-12 people attending. Some nights it was just me. What do you do when you’re the only one who shows up for a prayer “meeting”? You meet one-on-one with Jesus! So I sat to pray on one of the floral couches in the nursing-home chapel.

 

At 6:50, an elderly lady walked in, and I surprised her by being there. She was the pianist. Soon after another arrived… the organist. Men and women arrived slowly, finding room for their walkers and canes. After some confusion with the organ and the lights, we started singing hymns. In the Garden. What a Friend We Have in Jesus. In the Sweet By and By.

 

My 97 year-old grandmother died last year, and up to the very end, she loved hearing hymns, and had a heart to praise her Lord, who had been so good to her. She was a self-taught pianist, and church organist in her lifetime, and in the year before her death, she still sat at her piano and played. Listening to the voices, some strong, some weak, some off key, but all glad to be there, I was struck. I realized that most of these people have nowhere to go, limited capacity to “do” things, and many are in the waiting room for Heaven (hopefully). Their joy in praising Jesus, thanking God and offering their voices in worship was both humbling and encouraging.

 

How many times do I base my worth in what I do? Or find my lack of it in what I don’t do? How many times do I grumble and complain, and instead of releasing control and trusting God, I look for who to blame and how to solve things on my own? Except that when you need a walker – or a wheelchair, and you can’t drive, and you don’t even remember how to get back to your room, there are very few things that you can “solve on your own.” My prayer today is to be able to recognize our dependence on a loving and faithful God, and to rise to the level of trust and joy that can be found at a hymn sing in Heaven’s waiting room.