Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The power of a song.

I was putting more of my cds onto my ipod the other day and I ran across a cd I hadn't listen to in a few years. I realized that it is close to Thanksgiving and all these memories and feelings came rushing back.

I had a feeling that something was wrong that morning. My little cubical floating the middle of a vast cubical sea-- I was answering phone calls about 401K plans like every day for the past few months in the big office-- a resurrected Menards building. But I was alone. The cubes were set up in groups of four.. so that when hard at work four people's backs faced each other although we'd find any reason to turn around a socialize when the boss stepped away and the queue wasn't full. The rest of my team was on the other side of my cube. In my four-some two desks were always empty and Brian P. sat across the isle from me. He was in his upper thirties/ younger forties. Unlike most men in the office his walls were covered with pictures of his wife and two young boys. He was the nicest guy and a Christian-- in life not just sundays at 10:00. I didn't get to know him too well.

That morning he didn't show up. If it would have been Jim no one would have thought anything-- he was always late. But Brian was always on time or called well before the office opened to apologize for being sick. The first few hours I tried to pass it off. But close to noon I watched my stocky young boss walk by frazzled. I watched him the best I could--trying to pick up any cues to denounce what I knew in my heart was true. The minutes went by as hours. I tried to answer the phone the best I could... giving people the answers they needed as fast as I could to get them off the phone. A good half hour later my boss called us into a conference room. We gave each other solemn looks as we slowly made our way into the room... buying seconds before having to face whatever reality our boss was harboring. With the exception of my boss who stood, we sat around the large table which dominated the small room. I was the only girl on my team at that time. I don't remember Eric's exact words but he somehow conveyed that he had gotten a call from Brian's wife a few minutes prior. Brian had been in a car accident on the way to work and had died. The room was dead silent. My boss just turned and stared at the wall.. looking for some sort of answer in the gray paint. I hadn't been around death too much.. a grandparent and an uncle I didn't really know. But not a guy I sat two feet away from nine hours a day five days a week. The Holy Spirit was yelling at me so loudly to pray that I don't even know what the rest of the team was doing. I fought for a minute.. I knew the rest of my team wasn't saved.. what would they think!.. maybe my boss wouldn't let me.. this was america.. you couldn't PRAY at work!... maybe I would say something to offend someone! Maybe the words I used would turn someone to Christ. I had no choice but to move with the Spirit.. sometimes the Spirit flows so quickly that you can do nothing but hang on and listen as the words pour out of your mouth. I felt shaky and and cold and tingly as I asked. My boss said yes. Everyone bowed--trying to be proper. I prayed to God thanking Him for salvation and that Brian was saved and that at that very moment he was there in the presence of God... no longer having to take calls. I thanked the Lord that He was real and that Heaven was real. I prayed for his family and his young sons. Somewhere in there my boss started to sob. I ended. He thanked me. We walked back to our desks and were supposed to finish the day like nothing happened.

The next morning driving to work Sarah Kelly's Matter Of Time came on the local Christian Radio Station. I started to weep and weep. The realness of eternity was never so tested in my heart as when I listened to the words and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Brian P. was standing there in the Glory of the Lord. That it wasn't something that you just talked about.. but that it was so physical and happening at that moment. I remember the clouds and the bright sun rising into my eyes. To this day can barely listen to that song without emotionally going back to that three minutes in the car and getting tears down my cheeks... happy tears... sad tears... You're SO real God tears...

His funeral was Thanksgiving weekend. I wasn't going to go.. but I left in the middle of the night the day after Thanksgiving and drove the four hours through a blizzard to get there. I knew it was something I had to do.

I worked there for a ten more months. At my exit interview... as we were leaving... my boss thanked me for the prayer I said that day with the group. I tried to brush it off-- not being able to take any sort of compliment or thanks comfortably... "It was no big deal." He looked at me... completely serious and needing me to know that he meant it-- "Yes it was a big deal. Thank you for doing it."

I choose to trust You
Even through the fire
Even when my eyes can't see
I know You're right beside me
I will always praise You Lord
No matter what may come
You are always faithful to me

So I will dream
And I'll believe
That what You've promised
Soon I will see
Soon I will see

It's just a matter of time
Till I see Your face
Till I dance in Your presence
And sing out Your praise
It's just a matter of time
Till I hear You say
Well done

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