Chapter Thirty Nine
Diane crowded together with the other church members waiting for the evening service. She sat down in the crowd this time, wanting to get a feel for the service from this point of view. Around her, people whispered last minute observations, conscious that in a few minutes the cameras would pan across their faces once more. Oh God, I lift these people before your throne. I pray for those so torn inside with the agony of sin, Lord, that they may see your Light, and come today, for indeed Lord, this is the day of Salvation.
Diane tried to take it all in. The quiet church members in the middle, and the crowd several rings deep around them, then in the background to the west, smoke coming up from the ruined city below, blowing toward the church in the grip of a west evening breeze. So much has changed within the past 48 hours. I can’t seem to get a grip on all of it and I didn’t have to live their nightmare. I wonder how they did it? How did they manage to escape with the city falling around them? Must’ve been the Hand of God.
Diane startled to hear the blast of the updated sound system. She knew that the network flew in equipment that afternoon in order to present a clearer program. Hmmm, that’s better. No static.
A sparkle of love came to her eye as she watched Herb move to the front for the welcome and prayer. The first song was the same one from Tent City the previous evening. Diane heard the surge of voices, many from Tent City, as they joined the tune. ‘In the dark of the midnight, I have oft hid my face…’
She watched around her as the second hymn started. ‘When Peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll…’ Diane looked around her at the different faces. The songs weren’t just words on paper, these hymns represented what these people felt inside. The chorus became a swelling defiant statement of faith. ‘It is well, with my soul. It is well; it is well, with my soul!’
Herb stood behind the pulpit. Opening his Bible, he read from John 14:27. Then he related the concept of eternal Peace with God through accepting Him as Savior. Herb moved to the passage in Habakkuk 3: 17-19. Though the fig tree shall not blossom… Yet in spite of the horrors of Saturday night our joy can remain full. The joy of the Lord is our strength.”
Diane watched as the cameras panned back across the audience. She knew what the lens picked up wasn’t rage or hate, but tears of joy and worship. I wonder how many viewers will understand our concept? I wonder…, will our message be received in the hearts and minds of viewers like it’s being received here? Will people understand that after losing everything, these people found an eternity of peace with Jesus without turning to a bottle or drugs? Will it make sense to those who ache inside with a load of sin that they need the Savior? Oh God, may it be so in countless lives across this great land, that revival may start right here, right now. Amen!
Diane felt people around her start to press forward, anxiously wanting to start a new relationship with Jesus. Others stood in tears, unashamed as the tears fell in joy. These people glowed with His Spirit. For many this didn’t make sense. For the few, it made perfect sense!
Herb went on with his own testimony of inner Peace in hard times. His message finished with the challenge to the crowd to turn their eyes upon Jesus. The quartet lined up behind Herb. The same familiar hymn started, ‘Oh soul are you weary and troubled…’
Diane started forward with the surge of the Spirit and from those around her. By evenings end she managed to find Herb. “You know I wonder? How many more souls entered His Kingdom this night across the country?”