Find their songs. Sing their words.

Renee Ann Smith —  January 9, 2011 — 18 Comments

I recently wrote a post about the joys of walking the road where all who love the Lord have walked. One of the benefits of such a journey is that we can borrow the songs of the Christians who have gone before us when we know not what to sing.

So today I’m soaking in the words of George MacDonald, Scottish author, poet, minister, father, and fellow Christian. Two of his books have meant much to me: The Curate’s Awakening and Unspoken Sermons. My copies are dog-eared, marked by highlighter and pen, well-worn and well-loved. MacDonald’s words have helped open my eyes to both God’s truth and God’s heart.

His words can be heartening, as they are here, when he explains how God can take something meant for evil and turn it into good: “Christ takes our sins on Himself . . . He defeats our sins, makes them prisoners, forces them into the service of good, and chains them like galley slaves to the rowing benches of the gospel ship. He makes them work toward salvation for us”

George MacDonald’s words can paint pictures in my mind. Like here, where one of his characters relays the story of a prodigal son’s second chance: “He came to himself in the arms of a strange woman, who had taken him up, and was carrying him home. The name of the woman was Sorrow—a wandering woman, a kind of gypsy, always going about the world and picking up her lost things. Nobody likes her; hardly anybody is civil to her, but when she has set anybody down and is gone, often a look of affection and wonder and gratitude goes after her. Yet even with all that, very few are glad to be found by her again.”

And his words can make my heart sing. In this passage, he is talking about all that makes us who we are–our thoughts, feelings, imaginations–and how those things are revealed through earthly bodies. He then imagines what it will be like to see our loved ones again in their resurrected bodies:

“Every eye shall see their beloved, every heart will cry, ‘My own again! More mine because more himself than ever I beheld him.’

For do we not say on earth, ‘He is not himself today,’ or ‘She looks her own self,’ or ‘She is more like herself than I have seen her for long’? And is this not when heart is glad and the face is radiant?

For we carry a better likeness of our friends in our hearts than their countenances, save at precious seasons, manifest to us . . . When the mortal puts on immortality, shall we not feel that the nobler our friends are, the more they are themselves? That the more the idea of each is carried out in the perfection of beauty. The more like they are to what we thought them in our most exalted moods. The more like that which we beheld through the veil of their imperfections when we loved them the truest?”

I love that reminder. Not only that through Christ we’ll see our loved ones again, and they’ll be whole, happy, and radiant. But that we view our friends now through a “veil of imperfections.” Yet through Christ, we see the shadow of all God meant them to be. And one day, no veil of imperfections will separate our hearts from truly understanding each other, rejoicing in each other, appreciating each other.

Let’s practice looking beyond the veil today to see all that another person has to bring to this life we’re living together. And I’ll so appreciate it if you look beyond my veil of imperfections to see all that I hope to be when Jesus rips my veil away and frees the real me!

Whose words have encouraged you today? If you share in the comments section, I’ll be sure to answer you!

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

18 responses to Find their songs. Sing their words.

  1. Wow. I love that last paragraph. I will strive to do this today.

    Happy Sunday darling. Thanks for your words of inspiration.

    I need to think about who has inspired me 🙂

  2. Love that. After the day we had here in Tucson yesterday, reading ” Not only that through Christ we’ll see our loved ones again, and they’ll be whole, happy, and radiant.” is perfect.

    Thanks for linking up for The Sunday Strolling Blog Hop

    Im following you now

    ~Veronica

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  4. Ooohh, I love this thought, Renee Ann:

    “Let’s practice looking beyond the veil today to see all that another person has to bring to this life we’re living together. And I’ll so appreciate it if you look beyond my veil of imperfections to see all that I hope to be when Jesus rips my veil away and frees the real me!”

    What a great reminder to see the good in others.

    And your words hit my heart today. Even though its been 8 years since my Dad died every once in a while a day brings a little reminder. My heart is lifted with the thought of seeing my cancer-ridden father in his resurrected body! Thank you for this!

    • I’m so glad this encouraged you, Julia. That quote touched me for a similar reason–because as I get older, more of my loved ones find their way to heaven ahead of me. (My dad included.) And I rejoice to know I’ll see them again. I love all the wonderful promises God gives us concerning the future. I could read about them and talk about them forever . . . 🙂

      • Renee Ann,

        I’ve heard that is the hard part about getting older. I’m thinking of you. There’s an older man from our church that we are trying to visit occasionally at the home. He is so anxious to “go home” he can hardly stand it. Almost everyone he loves has passed on before him. But the sweetest thing is that he cries in church when we sing the hymns for joy, imagining singing them before the throne soon.

  5. HI Renee Ann! Another beautiful post! Thank you for linking it up to our No Ordinary Blog Hop! I miss all my loved ones that have gone before me especially my husband’s cousins, but it gives me much consolation and hope to know that they are whole again and kneeling before Christ’s throne praising Him just as my husband’s cousin said she would do while her body was fighting stage 4 lung cancer for 5 years. She was a walking saint here on earth and 3 years ago she finally got her wings where she is no longer suffering.

  6. I love looking forward to seeing my loved ones “whole and happy.” That will be paradise.

  7. What a great reminder to cover the imperfections of others, to view them the way God views us. Inspiring!

  8. Hello Renee!

    What an awesome post . . . I love it 🙂 You are the person who has inspired me today!

    Thank you for following my food blog and leaving such a sweet message 🙂 I am following you back . . . looking forward to future posts and exploring more of your blog!

    Have a wonderful day . . . Gina

    http://peacelovehappinesshappens.blogspot.com

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