Two FacesInspired by Adelai Miller and Marge Harbinat the Lord’s Supper at Heritage Baptist ChurchMay 6, 2007
I watch their faces next to each other as we sing. At opposite ends of life’s spectrum, yet they share the same confession in song: “It Is Well With My Soul.” One face is smooth, unlined, fresh, and yet not quite free from the burdens of life. The other is wrinkled and seamed, filled with a lifetime of wear, some good, some difficult, all under the Lord’s control. One is six, the other is eighty-six. They’re part of the same congregation, sharing in joys and sorrows, one not quite understanding everything she hears, the other helping the rest of us to slowly understand what God’s grace can mean. One may or not be a child of God, although if any 6-year-old has understood enough to trust Him, this one has. The other has walked with God for decades, holding tightly to his mercy through the years. They sing together, one sitting on her mother’s lap, reaching for her daddy’s hand that she loves to hold. The other puts a frail hand to her forehead as the words of the song sink in. One has long brown hair and the carefree joy of singing along with everyone else in the room. The other has curly white hair and a depth of experience that packs more meaning into the words she sings than just about anyone else in the congregation. One is young, the other old. One has much to look forward to, the other much to look back on. One has an innocence that’s not quite gone yet, the other has a peace that undergirds her life and gives it meaning. One is anticipating summer vacation, time at home with her family, time away from the classroom. The other is anticipating heaven, time to worship her Savior in person, time to be free from the bonds of this earth. One has parents who love Christ and trust him, even in dark and difficult days. The other has a heart that breaks for a son and grandsons who reject Christ, but rejoices in a daughter-in-law who loves Him. Both have known trials for which God has given them strength, so both sing from their hearts, giving glory back to Him. Neither looks at the other, both wrapped in their own perspectives of the moment, both letting the pure, unaccompanied sound of voices raised in praise wash over them. Both are creatures made in God’s image, children of this world that He loves. Both are loved by their brothers and sisters around the tables. Both could still be singing, drinking in the moment. Maybe they’ll remember this song, this time, this hour when glory seemed close enough to touch, when they were bound by a hymn, when God’s people met together.