What Lies Beneath
The Portland Ave. construction work that began on May 1 has claimed my attention. First, because no leader is ever glad when the main entrance to the church is closed for six months! Second, because there were days when the walls of the church were literally shaking from the heavy pounding to break up the asphalt. Think of the scene in the movie Jurassic Park when the water in the cup started to vibrate. For several weeks, it felt like dinosaurs were walking up and down Portland Ave. We did our best to carry on in this unusual working environment.
Some days I stood in the hot sun on the side of the street and watched the skilled workers go about their business. Very impressive how they maneuver such large machines in very tight spaces! What I found most fascinating is what lies beneath the surface. Under the pavement, at carefully calculated levels of varying depth, run the underground utilities: the sanitary sewer, the storm sewer, the water line, etc.
There is a lot happening beneath the surface of a street. There is a lot happening beneath the surface of a person: emotions, experiences, attitudes, all submerged at varying depths in the personality.
Psalm 139 celebrates that God knows us in the depths of who we are.
1O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
God knows us in the depths. For this we rejoice – and perhaps are a bit unnerved! For God is acquainted with all our ways: the good, the bad, and everything in between.
God knows us in the depths. But too often we know each other only at surface levels. We miss so much of another’s life that could encourage, delight, instruct, and inspire. There is a lot happening beneath the surface of a person.
I’m glad that over the coming program year at Hope Church we will take time to find out what lies beneath. Each month during our morning worship services we are going to hear (usually) from three people as they give their faith witness. As they share their story. As they tell us what God is doing in their life. As they help us to know them at a deeper level.
We will have the blessing of hearing the faith witnesses of others and be challenged to develop our own. When we do so, when we share our stories, truly we are “mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” (Romans 1:12).
We never know when God will use our story to make a difference, perhaps an eternal difference, in someone’s life. Let us “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15, NIV).