Holy Spirit You are welcome here

Holy Spirit, You are welcome here.
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere.
Your glory, Lord, is what our hearts long for,
To be overcome by your presence Lord.

Perhaps you recently saw the viral video of students at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee showing up on the driveway of their teacher - a teacher dying of cancer - to worship with him. (If not, refer to this video.)


We knew this teacher, Ben Ellis, as we attended church together at Midtown Fellowship when we lived in Nashville. On Friday morning, his wife and five children lost their husband and father. While I can rejoice for Ben now worshiping at the feet of Jesus, I weep and grieve for his family's deep loss. Children growing up without their father? Shelley, his wife, continuing on without him? This world is so broken. My heart aches and breaks and has done so many times over the past week noticing all of the posts and stories on Shelley's Facebook wall about Ben, all of the ways he loved people just like Jesus loves people.

On Sunday afternoon, my ringing phone woke me from a nap. My neighbor down the street on the farm, Kendall, asked, "Did you read your email?" I hadn't. I clicked over. My heart collapsed into my stomach as I learned my neighbor behind me - Nicole - was losing the baby girl growing in her belly at 30 weeks. Kendall picked me up minutes later, and as we pulled into Nicole's driveway, the tears wouldn't stop as these words sang through the car speakers
Holy Spirit, You are welcome here.
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere.
Your glory, Lord, is what our hearts long for,
To be overcome by your presence Lord. 
There's nothing worth more, that will ever come close
No thing can compare, You're our living hope
Your presence, Lord. 
I've tasted and seen, of the sweetest of loves
Where my heart becomes free, and my shame is undone
In your presence, Lord.
In an interview with the local Nashville news, Ben shared these words: "Take the opportunity to not only love others but to receive love from other people - which is often so much more difficult - to not only get to know others but to let others know you - truly - which is so much more difficult. And trust God that letting others love you, letting others know you will make a huge difference."

When Nicole sent the email about her dying baby yesterday, she took a huge step in the direction of being known. I am in awe of her reaching out and have already seen glimpses of how her letting others love her and know her is making a huge difference.

May I be so brave to be loved and known, and to love and know others as Jesus does. Since I am unable to say it better, as my friend, Heather, wrote on a Facebook post, "I want to be more like the Jesus that I saw in Ben Ellis."

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