As I poured out my heart to God, I echoed some of Job's frustrations. I wanted to be able to see God, to hear Him, to touch Him, and that wasn't possible. I tried to imagine God being compassionate like my Opa and I realized I was struggling to understand that. I finished praying and went about the rest of my afternoon as I pushed the thoughts to the back of my mind.
After vespers, it was afterglow time. I hadn't stayed for the last 3 afterglows but my good friend Lina was in charge of it so I decided to stay to support her. Little did either of us know that all the hard work she'd put into making a thoughtful program was exactly what I needed to hear this evening. As I was crying to God, the Holy Spirit was impressing Lina to include a beautiful 10-minute video that reached past my carefully built walls and held my heart close.
The 10 or so of us who stayed behind to sing enjoyed learning 3 new Arabic songs as we followed along with the transliteration on the song sheets that Lina had worked hard on. Then she closed with a video. She apologized for the length but said it was worth the time. The lights were turned off, the music began to play, and as the words flashed up on the screen long enough for them to sink in, the tears began to fall.
Each and every single word was as if it was being spoken to me. Bible verses taken from the Bible, carefully crafted in a personal way, for 10 minutes. They came from all over the Bible, most of them were familiar enough to me, promises that I had clung to at different times during my life. Yet to see all of them together, in one place, one after another, speaking truth louder than the false tapes I'd played for too long, that was what shook me. The Bible is truth and I was reading the truth as if for the first time.
It was as if God had gently reached down and said I'm here. Listen to Me share the promises of hope and good things for your life. Let these words bring comfort to your heart. I heard your lonely cry, I listened, and I'm here.
After it was over, I went up to thank Lina for sharing the video. Several more tears came unbidden as I explained how I'd desperately needed to hear that this evening. She gave me a hug and then suddenly said, Come over for a hot drink before you go to the dorm. I couldn't refuse. I piled into their car with the rest of the family and we drove home.
For the next two hours we sipped citronella tea, sang some of the songs from the afterglow, looked at pictures from her graduation which was also my mother's graduation, shared our frustrations, and laughed at life's idiosyncrasies. Soon we both began to yawn and I knew it was time to say goodnight. Lina drove me down the hill to the dorm and I thanked her from the bottom of my heart for such a lovely evening. She smiled and said Anytime you need to get away and spend time in a real home, just let me know.
I unlocked the front door as it was already past curfew and then walked up to my room on the 3rd floor. My heart was content and my soul was at peace. God had not only spoken to me through the verses, He had touched me through the hugs Lina easily gave me and reminded me that even if I couldn't see Him, I could see the smiling faces of so many in my life who loved me.
Tonight I am amazed. I am amazed at how my Father personally answers a prayer I didn't expect to be noticed. I am amazed at His grace and love that is poured into my heart and how it heals the loneliness inside. I am amazed at how thoughtfully so many dear friends touch my life and I long to do the same in return.
Here is the video. This one has narration but you can look for a version without if you prefer.