Who is this writer? A mix of life experiences, tragedies, happy memories, and crushing loss. I am an amalgam, a mixture. So are you. To reintroduce myself to my readers, I am reposting my introductory blog posts, the ones that define me.
These pieces, coupled with my life story video, and my years of writing reveal the woman God has shaped me to be. This blog first appeared in December 2011.
Introducing Melinda: Blog #5
In the old home movie, I stand within a life-size nativity, trying to blend in. Among the wooden wisemen and shepherds in painted first-century apparel stands a little girl in galoshes, wool coat, and stocking cap. Studying my fellow-worshipers of the Christ Child, I attempt to strike similar poses then remain stock still. Perhaps I will be mistaken for one of the adorers of the baby Jesus, I thought. I was five. I loved Him even then.
In the pews of my grandparent’s church I sat, yearning for the One I saw in the magnificent stained-glass window before me. There He sat, surrounded by children who all clamored to be cradled on His lap. As they crawled into His arms, He held them tenderly. These children adored Him, too. His eyes were filled with love. This God-Man loved children. I was a child.
Every year, my grandmother set out the nativity. At eyeball level, I stared into the scene, imagining myself to be one of them. I wanted to worship Him.
Nuns seemed to be everywhere in my young world—in the 1950s and -60s, every movie with a devout heroine involved nuns (think The Sound of Music). Was that how to get Him? Were the black veil and shorn hair the answer?
I had to find out. A Catholic friend smuggled me into her church. There He hung before me, larger than life, arms spread wide, as if in welcome—nails pounded through His flesh. “Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Protestant crosses are empty. This one held the Savior.
Stunned into silence I tiptoed about the sanctuary, studying and reflecting on the pictures on the walls—the stages of the cross, my Catholic friend whispered. His agony wrenched my heart. I knew He had done that for me.
My great-grandmother had whispered John 3:16 into my consciousness from birth. My grandparents modeled the true Christian life. I learned unconditional love from them. My parents took me to church every week. My bible was sacred to me. But I had never comprehended the gospel. I only knew I wanted Him.
At age thirteen I stood with a group of people, praying for some sinner. As we prayed, I comprehended the missing piece. I, too, was a sinner in need of a Savior. What? Me? A sinner? I hadn’t thought I was. I was there in church every week. I loved Him. Yet all along I knew He was somehow outside my grasp.
Within my heart, the absolute certainty of my utter unworthiness pressed heavy. Surprised at this revelation of my sinfulness, I confessed my brokenness and asked Him to be mine, committing myself to Him for all time.
I had to have Him.
And He answered. He had been drawing me toward Himself all my life with nativities and nuns’ veils and stained glass and grandparent love. I had finally gotten the message. The light had come on.
O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. He took the punishment that we deserved, and He made us part of God’s family. Having Him is the best thing that can ever happen to a lost human soul. He is everything we need.
How has He been calling you to His side? What did/does He use in your life?