Can you hear it?

Majestic alone beech tree on a hill slope with sunny beams at mo

Can you hear it?

It’s the goodbye song carried on the breeze
as summer falls into a sweet sleep

It’s the musical laughter of young children
as they jump into piles previously raked

It’s the crinkling of leaves underfoot as
the bright yellow bus pulls in

It’s the delighted whispers of the newly
crisp breeze, cooling cheeks

It’s autumn approaching quickly

Karis Cooper, Age 13 – Nashville, TN RevivingTheSoul Publications, 2016

No One Takes Selfies Here

Almost every morning, I take a walk, though I don’t leave my family room. In my mind’s eye, in my heart, I take a walk on a narrow, stony dirt path that winds up the side of a knoll to where it all happened.

Dramatic Easter Sunrise Lighting and Christian Cross

At times, everything in me wants to turn and walk in the other direction. There is something both compelling and ominous about this place. This is not a scenic walk with breath-taking vistas. No one takes selfies here. I make myself keep walking until I can hear the wheezing of labored breathing, the moans of grown men… until I feel ashamed being in the presence of their shame, until I can imagine the stench and inhumane suffering. Compelled, I put one foot in front of another. I simply have to see the broken and bruised man in the middle. I kneel as closely as possible at the foot of his cross and there ponder what horrors occurred here.

What cosmic conflict raged on these shoulders? What agonies were so relentlessly poured upon this one man that all of heaven turned its face away and all creation moaned? What does all of this mean?

Then, I imagine a stranger, ignorant of the events, walking on the same path coming up behind me with shock in his voice asking “Who did this?!” I turn my head and look over my shoulder and confess, “I did”; My sins nailed him there. The eternal son of God became a man. The perfect man became my sin. The obedient son crushed by his Father for disobedience he never committed. Then, the languid eyes of the man in the middle lock with mine and I hear him say “It is finished. Paid in full… Now, they are all forgiven.”

Stare until you marvel. Stare until you mourn. Stare until you repent. Stare until you worship. Stare until you rejoice

Zech. 12:10 “They shall look upon me, whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn.”

This post was written by my friend, Steve Shank. Steve has served in pastoral ministry for over 30 years and is the author of First Steps of Faith, one of the first books I read after becoming a Christian. I am pleased to announce that Steve will be joining RevivingTheSoul as a regular contributor.