Were You There…?

Yesterday was long and stressful.

I have been changing my name at the same time as changing my residence.  I should say, “chaaaaannnnging,” because it is taking sooooo looooong and that is causing problems:  I spent six hours yesterday between the DMV, the county auditor’s office, the county treasurer’s office, the DMV (again), the bank (for proof of residency), and back to the DMV, …but the day was not lost, and here is why…

On the way into the county auditor’s office, the neighboring First Baptist Church’s bells were playing a vaguely familiar tune.  Before I knew what I was doing, I was singing…out loud…in the ante-chamber of the county annex building (which has excellent acoustics, by the way)…

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh were you there when they crucified my Lord?
(Ohh, sometimes it causes me to tremble)
Tremble
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
(Ohh, sometimes it causes me to tremble)
Tremble
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
(Ohh, sometimes it causes me to tremble)
Tremble
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Well, were you there when God raised Him from the tomb?
Were you there when God raised Him from the tomb?
(Ohh, sometimes it causes me to tremble)
Tremble
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?

I sang loudly and I did not care who heard.  Actually, I DID care; I cared a great deal…so much so, that I sang louder and clearer, over and over…and was amazed at my ability to glide up to and hold the high notes.  If you know it, I recommend you sing it now.  (If you need help, try this youtube rendition )   It will do your heart good, if not bring tears to your eyes and may even send you to your knees.

(If you can, only listen to  this one…

…but I don’t recommend watching it…it hurts too much.)

I sang that song all day long, and it sustained me throughout the frustrations and complications.  What’s more, it put me in the mood to be bold and speak out to strangers and give them the address to my writings.

While sitting at a sidewalk table eating lunch, and listening to youtube recordings of the song, I was overcome with grief.  But then I realized that had Jesus not been crucified, He would not be with me now.  He would not be comforting me at that table, going out each morning with me and Stella to fill the bird feeders, watching Franco Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth with me (which does make for an interesting dynamic…watching Jesus…with Jesus.)

Say what you will; believe what you will.  But the people I speak to are usually in agreement with me or change their countenance dramatically when the subject turns to kindness, love, understanding, and forgiveness.  People, ALL people, are tired of hate; they agree that you can not fight hate with hate.  They are in the mood to forgive; to look beyond color, circumstance, and affluence; and to think better of and be kinder to family members who are estranged or neighbors they have problems with.  They are ready for change…and welcome the opportunity to talk about it.  In the words of one young lady in the county auditor’s office, when I said I wrote about hatred and racism, she said, “I don’t usually read, but I NEED to read THAT.”

I was not there when they crucified my Lord.

But I am here, now…

… and so is He…

…thanks be to God and to God be the Glory.

(The image of First Baptist Church is borrowed from the internet)

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