All Things New

21 02 2012

One by one they descended into the water.
And one by one they told their stories.

Some wept for the joy of protection and others for the mercy of deliverance, but all had come to faith empty handed and gave glory to the God of grace amazing. And we who listened laughed with them and cried with them, and we celebrated the old, old story that is ever, ever new.

I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.

Grace amazing blazed in a beautiful young woman who told how her mother left her father for his best friend when she was only seven — her tender heart shattering as she watched that usurper move into their home even as her beloved daddy was moving out. How agony wrenched her little soul, twisting it into a place of hate, until a sister’s wisdom said, “Forgive,” and Jesus carried all that brokenness and sin to the cross.

She plunged into liquid grace and rose up radiant, and we all breathed the holy Amen.

Grace amazing shone in a strong young man as he told of a mother tortured in her mind who fled to alcohol and drugs, leaving a husband to raise four sons. How that good father took his boys to church and loved them to Jesus, never embittering them toward their broken mom. Then a long silence, and we waited as he wrestled emotion, swallowed our tears when his choked words revealed how cirrhosis of the liver took her life, but not until after four grown sons gathered around her bed that final week, and she asked forgiveness from them and from God — forgiveness that was granted, and with it eternal life.

And he laughed for the wonder and plunged in, and when he rose again, our souls rose, too, and we sang:

You bring restoration,
You bring restoration,
You bring restoration
To my soul

You’ve taken my pain
You’ve called me by a new name
You’ve taken my shame
And in its place, you give me joy

You take my mourning, turn it into dancing
You take my weeping, turn it into laughing
You take my mourning, turn it into dancing
You take my sadness, turn it into joy

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
You make all things new, all things new

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4

Hallelujah, indeed.

(Note: the photos in this post were taken by John Keatley at our daughter Grace’s baptism in Lake Washington, June, 2005. Song lyrics to Restoration, by David Brymer.)


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7 responses

22 02 2012
Linda

Tears of joy and wonder. The story never gets old Jeanne. I have heard just such a story from my own husband and witnessed the grace amazing that healed his broken heart. It is hard to find words.

23 02 2012
jeannedamoff

Yes, it is hard to find words. May we learn to abide in that wonder. Love to you and your beloved.

22 02 2012
Sharon O

This is so beautiful. My 12 year old grand daughter keeps asking to be baptized. I have to wait for her mother to ‘say yes’… it is hard because I know she loves the Lord.
My own baptizm was in 1971 I was a young believer looking for hope and a different life. i would love to get baptized again ‘when my grand daughter’ does. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful memory?

23 02 2012
jeannedamoff

Thank you, Sharon. Yes, I think it would be a precious memory and a glorious testimony to God’s faithfulness. Blessings of joy and peace as you wait.

23 02 2012
Simply Darlene

Evident joy, in that last image especially, speaks so loud! Praise God all over the place. And thank you for sharing His face with us.

Blessings.

23 02 2012
jeannedamoff

Thank you, Darlene. And you’re welcome, my friend. Love to you.

24 02 2012
Miz Melly

LOvely. I was baptised as a baby and have never been in a church that did adult baptism. Even though I’ve followed Christ most of my life, I think I would like the event of a baptism in this stage of my life as a renewal of my commitment to follow for the rest of my life.

Your comments are a gift. Please know I read each one with gratitude.

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