I Don’t Have to Imagine

By:  Staci Stallings

Note:  I’ve been extremely busy with other things in my life.  The blog was something that got pushed to the side.  Too bad I can no longer page Dennis when I need him. I’m hoping to get back to normal posting schedule in a week or so.  Until then, please bear with me.  And now on to today’s story…

There are moments in my life that everything just becomes crystal clear.  I see things the way God sees them instead of how I usually do.  Very rarely do I know one of those moments is coming until it’s right there, and then I am simply blown away.

Sunday evening was just such a moment.

Now I have loved the song “I Can Only Imagine” since it first came out.  Something about that song captures the delicate, precious, incredible moment it will be when finally, after all this time on earth is through, I’m once again in the presence of my Savior.  The song asks, “What will my heart feel?  Will I dance for You, Jesus?  Or in awe of You be still?”

Well, we were sitting in Mass, and truly I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention.  Oh, I knew the song, and I was singing it.  But besides that, I was kind of zoned out.

It happened that they were playing the song during Offertory, which for those who are not Catholic, is the time that the plate is passed.  At our church during this time, the kids are encouraged to come forward with their money to give it to the priest.  I think it gets them ready for giving later on in life, to get them in the habit of giving, and it makes them feel special to get to go up front all by themselves.

I know for our family this has always been a special time.  When my oldest was small (three or four), she would walk back to our seat, down the center aisle and wave to every single person as she passed.  Not like a little girl wave, but like a queen on a float wave.  Everyone knew us because they would turn to look at us to see who she belonged to!  I still tease her about her princess wave.

So here we are.  It’s Offertory, and my son who is 8 goes up with his dollar in his hand.  Now, every one of our kids when they come back have loved to be praised for being “such a big kid” and doing so well.  They always have.  So I guess I had kind of stopped thinking about that too.  It’s not unusual.  It just is.  And for some reason, it’s always DAD they go to.  Oh, they may pause as they go by me to get a high-five or a quick kiss, but the bee-line is straight to Dad.

I guess I’d never really thought about it or paid attention before, but here’s how it went on Sunday:

My son comes back from giving his dollar, doing his good deed for the day.  He comes into the bench just as they start the chorus.  “I can only imagine what it will be like…”  He crossed past his sisters and then me… “When I walk by Your side… I can only imagine…”  Between me and his dad, there was the space he had left to go give his dollar, and he went straight for that space because it was his–still his, right by his dad.

“What my eyes will see when Your face is before me… I can only imagine…”

And then my little boy with face glowing, jumped into my husband’s arms.  My husband, his dad, collected him up into a hug, gave him a kiss on the head, and said, “Good job, buddy.”  The hug was extra long and meant just for him.  Then he sat him right next to him and put his arm around him.  My little guy snuggled into his daddy’s arms, safe, happy, warm, and loved.

“Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel?…”

I no longer have to imagine.  I think I got a really good glimpse of just what that moment is going to be like.

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