As she sang, Lily concentrated upon the words. She had taught English for years. Crafting words well, she believed, honored God. Because God revealed himself through words, language was crucial. It seemed obvious, to Lily at least, that God’s covenant people should be word-rooted people. Words to songs mattered:
So, remember your people
Remember your children,
Remember your promise, oh God
As the song ended, Lily’s frustration with Beth had subsided.
The pastor had a winsome demeanor, and the music had refocused Lily upon why she was visiting Beulah. What’s more, she had enjoyed what Tim had tried to encourage the class to think about. Here I am alone, Lily thought, in a sanctuary, a female Jacob, wrestling with you, Lord, in order for you to touch me. Remember me, oh God.
“Please be seated,” said the minister of music after the congregation sang. As she sat, Lily noticed a trifold bulletin in the pew in front of her. She opened it and followed along with the minister of music as he called the congregation’s attention to some of the church’s announcements: outreach ministries, charitable giving, discipleship classes.
Beulah’s bulletin included the contact information for the church staff, announcements, a historic confession of the faith, the hymns and choruses to be sung during corporate worship, and the text of Scripture from which the pastor would teach: “Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find” (Proverbs 20: 6, ESV).
Lily opened her Bible app on her iPhone and turned to the passage. The pastor approached the chancel. As Lily focused upon the text the pastor was about to read, a shadow came over Lily’s iPhone. Looking up, Lily saw Beth, standing over her. “Hey, Lily,” the tower whispered. “Sorry I’m late. Can I sit with you?”
“Um, yes. I mean, sure.” Lily gathered her skirt beneath her knees and turned to the left to allow Beth onto the pew. Beth’s shadow moved across Lily’s iPhone and in front of her downcast eyes, then fell to the right. As Beth landed on the pew, Lily could feel the weight of impact in her hips.
(To be continued)