Just as I Am

Driving to work this morning, husband and toddler at home, window rolled down to enjoy these first warm days of spring and the blue sky filling the windshield, I was transported back to a moment.

A moment with my sister in the late summer of 2013, ambling through the town of Eagle River while on vacation, just the two of us under the warm August sun. As we walked the tree-lined neighborhood streets, bells echoed out from an old church.

Just as I am, without one plea
but that thy blood was shed for me
and that thou bidst me come to thee
O Lamb of God, I come, I come

“That’s was Poppop’s favorite hymn,” said my sister, and I silently thought about our grandpa and his life on Shellpot Drive, where I knew him as the quiet man who ate a sandwich for lunch every day, trimmed his toenails in the den bathroom, and played Scrabble, all while believing that Jesus would come back in glory before he died. Someone played Just as I Am at his funeral.

The church bells echo around us with this tune, maybe mournful, maybe joyful.

Just as I am, though tossed about
with many a conflict, many a doubt
fightings within and fears without
O Lamb of God, I come, I come

There are moments in life when, unexpectedly, with no warning, beauty hits you. You didn’t plan on it, or seek it out, but there you are in the middle of your day, maybe driving somewhere, maybe walking, maybe looking out a window, maybe hearing that song that dovetails with¬†the moment like they were predestined¬†for each other–and suddenly time is suspended and your heart is filled to bursting.

A melody–the warm orange of the sun against your closed eyelids–the friendship of a sister–the knowledge that death comes to all–the strange ache of hope disappointed and hope fulfilled.

Just as I am, thou wilt receive,
wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
because thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, thy love unknown
hath broken every barrier down;
now, to be thine, yea, thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

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