Confessing the Faith of Another

21 09 2008

In chapel at Southern seminary two weeks ago I had an interesting experience that gave me a new insight into worship and confession.  Since Anna’s death, we have found worship difficult.  Listening to the word of God preached has always been a blessing.  It is often difficult, but it is always good.  Singing music has been more difficult and not always as much of a blessing.  We have found much of the music more banal than we did before Anna’s death.  It expresses a faith far too casual and breezy for where we are right now.

But once in a while we come across a hymn that expresses in a full and meaningful manner what is happening in our hearts and minds right now.  This happened to me at the chapel service.  We were singing a hymn that was new to me.  The strong confession of faith in the hymn caused my thoughts to turn to Anna and her own faith and the way that God justified, sanctified, and glorified Anna.  I began singing the hymn louder but changed the pronouns from first person to third person, and instead of singing about my own faith in God’s salvation, I began singing about Anna’s faith in God’s salvation through Jesus Christ.  For some reason, the faith expressed in the hymn became more solid, more objective, when it was said about someone else than when it was said about me.  It lost some of the sentimentality and self-interest that my words about my own faith had, and took on a firmness as I considered what God had done for Anna.  Here is the hymn with the words changed to reflect Anna’s life and faith:

Before the throne of God alone

She has a strong, a perfect plea

A great High Priest whose name is Love

Who ever lives and pleads for her

Her name is graven on His hands

Her name is written on His heart

She knows that while in heaven He stands

No tongue can bid her thence depart.

 

When Satan tempts her to despair

And tells her of the guilt within

Upward she looks and sees Him there

Who made an end of all her sin

Because the sinless Savior dies

Her sinful soul is counted free

For God the Just is satisfied

To look on Him and pardon her.

 

Behold Him there, the Risen Lamb

Her perfect spotless Righteousness

The great unchangeable I Am

The King of Glory and of Grace

One with Himself she cannot die

Her soul is purchased by His blood

Her life is hid with Christ on high

With Christ her Savior and her Lord.

 


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22 09 2008
Leonard & Diana Lee

Dear Todd and Timberley:
We read your blog and know that God is taking good care of you both and Samuel. We also read your hand-written note to the Church at the Session meeting yesterday. We understand that it will take a long time for you to “recover” from the passing of Anna, and the scars will remain until you meet her again in the House of our Lord. We are also happy to learn that you may be coming to California sometime. We look forward to that day.
From Leonard: As I wrote to you before, the tragedy will forever remain your memory, but the happy times you had with Anna are the things you treasured most. My brother passed away in 1958, fifty years ago, and I recently found a picture of his grave site in Fayetteville, Arkansas, along with my brother and mother. My mother passed away at the age of 99, outlived my father for more than twenty-five years. Our whole family still remembered our brother who was at his prime at the University of Arkansas. When I retired four years ago, I wrote a biography of his young life, and put it in a book form for each of my brothers. I believe that God allows tragedy to occur in each one of us to remind us that we are in His Hands all along, and the timing is not up to us. We thank God for both of you and still have very fond memories of your ministry at San Bruno. On a final note, we have reserved at least $5000 in the Mission Fund for the Anna Borger Memorial Fund, to be used as scholarship fund when and where you see fit. Please continue to keep us informed of your whereabout, and may God continue to uphold your family in this time of recovery.
Yours in His Love,
Diana & Leonard Lee
San Bruno Chinese Church and South San Francisco, California.

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