So that you may know that it is I, The LORD, the God of Israel,
who calls you by your name.
Isaiah 45:3 New American Standard Bible
We weren’t at a garage sale, but I did think “one man’s trash is another’s treasure.” The town where we live has been called everything from “The Spur Capital” to the end of the earth. It’s not a place where one would go looking for treasure, but my Dear One and I have found it here. Last night was one example:
Last night most Gatesville folks were cheering the Hornets at the Homecoming game. A few of us—probably 125 or so—found our way to the Civic auditorium, itself a treasure. The interior, completely painted–by inmates–with intricate murals of woodland scenes, must be one of the seven wonders of…well, Coryell County, at least. Most of us were well past enjoying climbing stadium bleachers to sit amid cheering fans. We’re more the types to find seats on the aisle, the better to access the rest rooms.
An aside: Until the age of 65, I avoided thinking of myself as being old and unable to do things younger people can do. Now I have the freedom to declare I simply don’t want to climb bleachers, attend school concerts where my grandchildren are not performing, or drive through nasty traffic. I am able to climb bleachers, and have done so when the occasion warranted. I can drive through Dallas traffic; even find my way through Temple’s eternal road construction. I manage just fine. But I have a perfect right to recognize that I find it quite unpleasant, and don’t do it if I can avoid it.
As I think of it, that freedom is a treasure in its own way. Who knew that being old could be so liberating?
When we are ministering in prison, and the Presence is near and real, it often occurs to me that there’s a whole big world out there, billions of people, who have no idea what is going on here. Almighty God is here, moving by His Spirit. He has heard the cries of the oppressed, and sent us to proclaim liberty to these captives, healing to the broken. How privileged we are, to witness this treasure of infinite value, here in this place of great darkness.
The Gatesville Jamboree as spiritual experience would be a hard sell. We enjoy it because it is so accessible. We can park at the library and walk a few yards, enter without paying admission, and have our choice of places to sit. We’re already peaceful coming in, because we had no traffic hassles, no parking hassles and no time pressure.
On our way home we reflected on the good quality of the music. I get a terrific kick out of seeing what could be my old Dutch relatives, playing fiddles, guitars, and keyboards with skill and enthusiasm. Rawboned cowboys and ranchers, making music at day’s end. To me it was inexpressibly precious.
And only the few of us were there to enjoy it. Most people miss it. Truly it’s a treasure hidden away, and revealed to us. More evidence that it was the Lord, who calls us by name, who brought us here. He seems to be determined to bless us, wherever we go.