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At The Throne of God

July 29, 2014 | Samuel Baggenstos

(Note: names have been changed)

I stepped lightly through the hallway, silently passing by the guest rooms on either side.  Smothering a yawn in my sleeve, I paused at the end of the hallway, just outside the break room.  From the lobby around the corner floated the mournful sound of a country song.  Pushing open the door into the break I started to sing along. 

“I kicked the habit of smoking some time agoo-ooo-ooo.  I tried the hard stuff…” I stopped halfway through the line, as I heard a low voice from the end of the room. Placing my backpack on the shelf, I poked my head around corner. At the small table at the end of the room sat Carol, the fifty-year-old housekeeper who cleaned and serviced the lobby. Her head was bowed, and on the table a large book sat open. With her eyes closed, and her face set in an earnest expression, she was softly muttering words that I couldn’t quite hear. After half a minute she stopped and looked up. 

                “Sam!” she said, her face flashing into a broad smile.  “How are you doing this morning?”

                “Pretty well.  Just waking up.”

I walked across the room and took a seat across from her. 

                “Whatcha’ reading?”

                “Oh, just my daily word.”  she answered pointing down at the nook reader in front of her.  

                “Your daily word?  What word?”

                “The Bible!” she said energetically.  “I always got to start the morning off right with some verses from the Bible.  See?”  Grabbing the e-reader, she turned it towards me.  The screen was turned to Philippians 3: Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! 

                “I want people to see Jesus as I’m working.  I want them to see my joy.  They notice that, you know.  Then they ask you.”  She sat back in her chair, her face distant as she brought to mind a memory.

“Once, while I was mopping the floor by the flags out in the lobby, a lady stopped me and said, ‘Are you a Christian?’  I said, ‘Yes I am’.  Then she said, ‘Can you pray for my two friends?  They aren’t Christians and they need Jesus.’  Well there was a bunch of people around waiting for a boat tour.  And everyone was looking.  But we folded our hands and closed our eyes, and prayed right there in front of everybody that her two friends would come to know Jesus.  That’s what we did.  It was fun.” 

Carol nodded her head emphatically and cocked her head to one side.

“Do you wanna’ pray now?” she asked.

I nodded my head. 

Carol folded her hands and bowed her head towards the table. 

“Dear Lord,” she began her tone confident and familiar.  “Thank you for this beautiful day.  Thank you for your son, Sam.  Thank you for his desire to read your word and pray.  Give him strength to do your work today.  May he be a light to those around him.  Ohhh, we want to be a light to those around us.  May they see you, Jesus.  May they see you, Jesus.” 

As she continued to pray, I opened my eyes.  Carol was rocking back forth, her eyes closed and her hands clasped together, like a little girl doing her prayers before going to bed.  Behind her, out the window, the Navajo Sandstone cliffs were glowing red in the rising sun.  The sky was cloudless and full of promise.  

Throughout the resort, guests were beginning their day.  Some were trotting off to breakfast with bickering kids, some were frantically getting dressed to make it to a boat tour they're sure they're late for, and others were rehearsing a laundry list of complaints to tell the front desk.  Also throughout the resort hundreds of employees were preparing for the day, many groaning inwardly as they downed two cups of coffee.  But here, in a little room in building four, Carol was starting her day at the throne of God, confident that her father in heaven would hear her.  And I got stand right beside her.

“Amen.” Carol finally said. 

“Amen.” I echoed, rising to my feet.

“Have a good day, Sam.” 

“You too, Carol.” 

Straightening my badge, I walked to the door and out into the wide open hallway.  

"It was especially neat to begin developing an eye for analogies and concrete images in creation, tying observations in with our relationship with God and seeing that there are, in effect, ...parables' all around us of God's care and the gospel."
– Jonathan, Calvin Theological Seminary 2011

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