Sunday we went back to church for our first service together and how ecstatic we all were. My eyes kept welling with tears. Oh friends, it is such a privilege to worship freely together.
While getting our littlest girls bathed and dressed I was reminding both that we were getting ready for church. Birdie kept questioning, “Mom! Church? Church, mom?” I don’t think she believed me.
When Ruby is excited about something extra-special-wonderful, she says “Good!”. However, in total Ruby fashion, our little Miss-Live-Life-to-the-Fullest doesn’t ever just say, “good”. No way. I mean, honestly, if something is truly “good” shouldn’t we shout it for emphasis?
Well, Ruby always shouts “good” in threes – prolonging the third “good”. And Sunday morning when telling her we were going to church she shouted, “Good! Good! Goooood!” accompanied by the most enthusiastic, top-of-her-lungs squeal imaginable – which clearly meant she was over-the-moon-and-beyond-thrilled – Ruby was going to worship!
Everyone who knows Ruby knows how our miracle-girl loves to worship. Most days our home is filled with worship music and when I do our morning Bible study we worship together and Ruby loves it.
But, Ruby’s most favorite worship of all is corporate worship at church. In fact a few months back, at the start of the lockdown, our family gathered to watch our church’s service online. That first Sunday, the band started and Pastor Craig, our worship pastor began with, “Good morning” and that was all Ruby needed to hear – she let out the loudest squeals of joy ever. We all laughed heartily – Ruby was so happy we were about to worship “at church”.
Anyway, this past Sunday morning our church re-opened with a safe strategy plan. When we got Ruby out of the car and into her wheelchair she could not get to the sanctuary fast enough. Before long the band started playing and worship began. Without a second delay, Ruby began to worship/squeal loudly. Her whole body was wiggling with joy as she worshipped with her most enthusiastic squealing over and over. I wish I had recorded it as Ruby worshipped with unbridled jubilation!
After the service ended, I was pushing Ruby out the door and a friend, Katie, on the worship team was waiting for us. Katie began, “I just want you to know my eyes were filling with tears when I heard Ruby worshipping. It felt so good to hear her.”
As Katie and I were talking, another young woman stopped, “When I heard Ruby worshipping, tears began streaming down my face. My husband leaned over and asked me what was wrong. I told him, ‘Ruby’s worshipping!'”
Who could have imagined that our little treasure, broken, abused, starved, battered and left to die in the hot African sun would be such a bright beacon of love to so many? Who could have dreamed that her “non-verbal” little self while communing with her creator in such a uniquely beautiful way would bring those around her to tears? Who would have imagined that our precious miracle-girl Ruby would be so loved by so many around the world?
Only our astoundingly faithful God – who specializes in the miraculous by bringing exquisite beauty, monumental healing and incredible joy out of painful ashes. He alone is worthy of all praise, honor and glory! No wonder Ruby worships Him with all her heart!