This song came at a good time because things haven't been going my way lately, and some days I just want to give up. I've listened to this song three times now, and I'm feeling better about the things going on in my life. I will get through it, and win the battle in time. I just hope it's sooner rather than later.
My writing has been pretty much non-existent lately apart from the short story I submitted to Chicken Soup for the Soul due by December 31st. I submitted it with a few days to spare. I didn't have much to do to the story I wrote for it because it was actually one I had already written, and put in my autobiography I'm working on once in a while. I did add a few more paragraphs to it before I submitted it, though.
Here's the story:
I am constantly reminded of a Sunday morning service in January 1988 when a seven-year-old child, wearing a white dress with a daisy and red rose floral print, was singing a hymn while standing between her mom and one of her sisters in a pew located second from the back row on the left with her other sister standing on the opposite side of her mom with her youngest brother standing next to the other sister. The little girl had blonde hair that was four inches past shoulder length and wore glasses.
It started out as just an ordinary Sunday for her Southern Baptist family. Her mom woke up in the morning, got her and her brother and sisters up, the family got dressed for church, ate breakfast, went to Sunday school, and then started the worship service with song.
The third song was the “Old Rugged Cross.” As this child was singing the second verse, she started crying. Her family didn’t notice that she even sat down when the tears started to come. Her family had no idea what was wrong with her, but she knew. She had learned about who Jesus was through her Sunday school teacher, but it was while singing this song that she decided she wanted to “cling to the old rugged cross” and to lay down her trophies there.
As the last verse was being sung, she prayed to God to send Jesus into her heart. She felt a presence inside her heart as soon as she finished that prayer, and she automatically knew that her prayer had been answered and Jesus was there.
The pastor baptized me one month later in the
swimming pool. Newport
The seven-year-old is thirty-one now, and still has her Jesus and still loves him so much. Even during the times I backslid, I was constantly reminded of my redemption one Sunday, and brought to repentance of my sin against the one true God.
I still have tears come to my eyes when I hear the “Old Rugged Cross,” and I retell my mom the story of why that song has meant so much to me and why it is my favorite hymn. I tell my mom, “I was saved by that song. That is why it is so precious to me.”
My mom told me during my teen years that the church I attended when I was first saved wasn’t sure I understood the decision I had made. By my remembering this story, it just goes to show that I knew what I was doing and God knew it too. That’s all that matters.
I am also reminded when I look back on this long-ago day of salvation, my first Easter following my baptism. I was at home crying my eyes out, inconsolable because I thought Jesus had died on the cross for good.
It took my mom a couple hours of calming me down enough to explain the rest of the story to me, and how he arose on Easter morning. To which I replied, though little hiccups, “He did? He’s alive now?”
She reassured me that he was now in Heaven with God waiting for the day when he’ll return to Earth for everybody and take all Christians home with him.
When I look back on both of these moments, I pray to God that I can still have a faith like the child I was so long ago.
What started out as an ordinary Sunday morning ended with an extraordinary meaning for my life, and my eternity!
“‘Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the
like a little child will never enter
it.’” kingdom of God
-- Mark 10:15, NIV
I also added the verse at the bottom. Each of their story submissions requires a Bible verse to accompany it. I try to find one that goes along with the content of the story.
I did make some progress with "Magic in Their Blood" as well. I added the usual pre-story info when I started my manuscript. I added the acknowledgments last before saving it for future use. I do have a beginning written out in a spiral notebook for it now, but I haven't had time to add it. I'm also debating on whether I want to have a Table of Contents for it since the chapters aren't going to have titles apart from "Chapter One," "Chapter Two," and so on. I figured I'll make a final decision about that closer to publication time.