I was sitting in a crowd, cross-legged on the floor in a big room called The Oasis. The day before, I’d flown into and trundled around Athens before flying further to Lesvos. Sunday morning, I joined my sister and brother-in-law and the rest of the crowd on the floor for church. The message on faith was great, but I couldn’t stop watching the adorable coffee and cream colored children tumbling around me.
I loved the pockets of languages scattered around the room. Translation into French was happening in that corner. Farsi in the other. Arabic up front beside the preacher, translating for everyone.
As the service closed, someone announced that our Congolese brothers would sing for us. A quartet of French-speaking African men walked forward and the one with the guitar put on his shiny gold rock star sunglasses. The other three stood by the mic and started singing.
I didn’t know what the words were (I was told later it was a psalm) but they sang with utter gentleness, adoration, and surety. The harmonies were simple and beautiful, and their faces shone.
Scattered voices in the crowd joined at the refrain. In the men’s peaceful smiles and voices, I saw the teeniest piece of heaven, where the kings of the earth will bring their glory and worship the Lamb like these men and their audience were doing. It was glorious beyond words, and the way things should be. Wonder and beauty washed over me and tears kept dripping off my cheeks.
I feel most alive when I’m surrounded with colors and textures and cultures. I feel twitchy when everyone looks and talks the same. The variety of cultures and the singular focus of worship that morning in Greece is akin to what I expect to be part of in eternity, and I was enormously gifted with a sneak preview.
4 thoughts on “Kings Bring Their Glory”
Anita, your post brings tears to my eyes. Your picture of Heaven being a gathering of cultures and languages and peoples is so beautiful and so true.
So glad you could be part of that service . . . And get that sneak preview!!! . . . Makes me want to experience that as well!!!
I’m with you. Sometimes I find myself feeling uneasy but not knowing why, and as I look around I realize it’s because everyone around me is the same color and speaks the same language. I feel like saying, “Where have ya’ll hidden the rest of the people?” It’s a gift to be surrounded by people of many languages and cultures, and yes, something I look forward to in heaven.
And now I really need to stop reading blogs so I can get to work and figure out if my guest, recently arrived in the U.S. from Ghana, has enough food for the weekend and has figured out how to use a microwave. Not an easy task. Maybe I can coax her into the office to use a phone interpreter.