Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Rock

This past weekend I attended the Christ Renews His Parish women's retreat. It was an awesome experience that is changing many things in my life. If you have a CRHP at your church, then you should go. I don't think it is possible to delve into all of the retreat in this blog. I am still unpacking much of the experience. I did unpack something that I need to write about and further sort out: my rock.

The Holy Spirit was very present in all of us on this retreat. There were many stories shared and many, many God moments that impacted us. For me the weekend was all about trust. Trust is a big word. It means that we have to give up control. It means we have to be vulnerable. It means we have to depend on someone else. For me, trust is hard. I struggle to trust people, and God. I want to be in control. If I don't have to trust, then I don't have to be disappointed or hurt. I protect myself from these possibilities by withholding trust. Unfortunately, I also deprive myself of the joys of trust. And I think that is what God wants me to experience; the joys of trusting. I have been trusting God more and more in these past few months. And the little trust that I have invested has bore so much more joy than I deserve.

When I tell you that the Holy Spirit was screaming the word trust at me, I am not kidding. I received little cards about trust at every break. I got a bag stamped with the words Trust in the Lord with all your heart(we all got bags with different phrases). I opened prayer books at random and there would be a prayer about trust. There were stories about trust. There were homilies about trust. There was much scripture about trust which played through my head whenever I knelt to pray. And trust was the common thread in all the women who were placed randomly at my table. If there had been a burning bush on the alter that spelled out the word trust, I would not have been surprised. Trust was definitely dancing in front of me in bright and pretty colors in order to get my attention.

The whole weekend, I knew that I needed to trust. This was the lesson God wanted me to take from the weekend. But what or who specifically did I need to trust? I want to trust God and I feel I have been trusting him more and more. I didn't feel like God was speaking to me about trusting Him so much but someone or something else.

I found something else that I was looking for at this retreat: community. I had been so frustrated about finding a community of believers that I can be a part of. I have been a member at St. Gabriel's but I had felt like I was really a part of a community. I couldn't find them. I tried being involved in a few ministries, and I never really felt like I belonged. I was starved for a community to be a part of and serve. And at this weekend, I found them. I knew it as soon as we sat down for breakfast. These women were to be my community. I was very excited. But I was also sacred which confused me.

And then there was my issue with priests. I have always avoided priests. I can list you a hundred reasons on why I didn't really need to talk or get to know a priest. They are intimidating, holy, too busy, and detached from someone like me since they live a completely different life. I could go on and on but you get the point. I would never expect for a priest to play a big role in my life. And that was just fine with me since I was extremely uncomfortable around them anyway. As you can imagine, there were priests around every corner this weekend. So I was very uncomfortable with that. I was forced more and more out of my comfort zone as the weekend progressed. And there was a moment where I wanted to run from the scene when the priest got a little too close. I didn't realize what a problem I had until that moment.

When I got home, I started to think and replay the events of the weekend in my brain and I came to the conclusion that I have a trust issue. I know- big surprise. And apparently, my trust issue is with my new found faith community. I was uncomfortable and scared around the sisters in Christ that I searched high and low for and I was ready to run from the building screaming when the priest got too close. Yes, trusting people in a faith community was definitely my issue. After I put this together, I thought "Why do I have this problem? This is not normal." And I instantly flashed back to the moment I got the letter from the Baptist Church saying that they would honor my request and remove my name from their membership. And then it all became crystal clear.

So now I should fill you in on a little background. I am a convert to the Catholic faith. I grew up in the Southern Baptist Church. My parents brought me to church faithfully throughout my childhood. I went to Sunday school, VBS, camps, retreats- you name it. As a teenager, I got even more involved. I was at EVERY youth event. I planned youth events. I was president of the youth council for the church. I sang in the youth choir. I even played the role of music minister for youth led services. All my closest friends and most trusted adults in my life were at my church. Now, I was also the teenager who asked the most questions. I questioned everything. I asked questions until I got an answer that made sense to me and sometimes, I never got an answer. In other words, I drove the youth minister crazy. I was always putting him on the spot and since I was a leader in the youth group, that didn't always go too well for him. By the end of my senior year, he was done with me and I knew it. And I knew that God was leading me away from that church. They couldn't answer all of my questions and I didn't agree with many things that were being taught. So, after some clear nudging of the Holy Spirit, I decided that I was no longer going to be a member of the Southern Baptist Church. I wrote a very short, matter of fact letter requesting that my name be removed from membership. And the only response I got was a letter back saying that they removed it. I never got a phone call from a pastor, or a minister, or a Sunday school teacher, or even a friend. At the time, I took it as a sign that I was clearly not supposed to be at that church. God was calling me to go somewhere else and so I went. And I didn't look back. I didn't allow myself to feel the hurt and rejection. If I didn't feel the hurt, then they wouldn't have the satisfaction of hurting me. I just packed this rock away in my backpack and went searching for my God. One of the first places I went was a Catholic church. The presence of God in a Catholic church was over whelming to me. I couldn't find it in any other church I visited. It was the place God wanted me to be. So I went through RCIA and converted.

I wish I could tell you that I have always walked closely with God from that moment on. But I haven't. There have been some dark moments and some bright moments. He has always had a hold on me and has never let me go even though he has had many reasons to let me go. Through all of these moments, His love speaks volumes to me. But in all of this time, I never unpacked the rock. I carried in on my back pack and felt the weight of it on my shoulders. After some time, I forgot that the rock was in there. I was so used to the weight by then. It was my normal and since I was busy trying to live my life on my terms, I never had the desire to unpack the rock. I truly forgot about it. As I have renewed my spiritual life, it stayed in the shadows. I knew something was there but I couldn't put my finger on it. And I didn't realize that the weight of the rock was keeping me from finding my community and from finding joy with those whom I craved a relationship. Here I was frustrated with the Catholic church for not providing more opportunities for fellowship and the real reason I couldn't find fellowship was because of this rock.

Now you are probably wondering what I have done with the rock. This is where the story gets a little more entertaining. When I found the rock, I felt this overwhelming urge to see Father Don- the holy spirit at work I suspect. I couldn't find rest until I made an appointment. So I did and the rest arrived for a brief moment. And then the anxiety started to mount. And boy did it mount. I had no idea that the fear was so big. On the day of the appointment, I started to wonder if I was going to have a panic attack. I considered calling friends to see if I could find some Xanax. I told everyone I saw that day to pray for me at 5:00- the time of the appointment. So, at 5:00, I was waiting in the office of the church and felt a sense of peace. I know it was the prayers. When I walked into his office, I could tell he knew I was a mess. So I blurted out right away that I have a fear of priests. And then I began to tell him why. I talked really fast so I could hurry up and get it over with. I am sure this helped with his overall first impression of me. After I was done, he looked a little shocked. He didn't quite know how to respond to me. He did laugh because I was pretty comical. Here I am, a grown confident woman telling him I am afraid of him. And then he told me I had a lot of guts to face my fear head on. I could tell he knew I was hurt. As soon as I came to that part of the story, his face fell. And then he told me about the backpack full of rocks that we carry around. Nope, I didn't come up with that analogy on my own. He asked me what was I going to do with my rock. Was I going to take it out and leave it or was I going to hold on to it because it meant I could be right in the situation. I am still figuring out this one. I WANT to forgive and leave the rock. I WANT to unburden my backpack, but how? Do I really want to let go of being right? He asked me to think about what I would say to them if I met them in heaven. That is a tough one. They very well could be there. I didn't realize that I would face my past in heaven. Then, he told me to write a letter to them letting them know how I feel and then to tear up the letter as a way of letting go of the hurt. I haven't tried it yet but I am thinking that I will. I know that this will be a process and the layer of the onion I am trying to peel off will not shed itself overnight. The verse "He who has begun a great work in you will see it through to completion" keeps going through my mind.

I want to trust Father Don and I want to trust my new sisters in Christ. I want to be part of this community. In order to do that, I need to make myself vulnerable to them. I need to not just lay my burdens on the alter, but lay them up there for everyone to see. I am not sure what God is going to do with my rock once I let go. I do find it interesting that there are three women in my CRHP who work heavily with the youth- which only makes me want to hold on to the rock more. I don't think I am quite ready to connect all these dots but I do know I need to trust. And with trust will come great joy and the lightness of my spirit.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Worship

I went to a class at church offered by our Pastor, Fr. Don. He is making it his mission to educate us in the faith. He started with the question "What is Faith?" It took us back to the beginning of what we believe. Who is God? Does he exist? Father Don explains it so much better than I do, but I will give you the basic outline in my own words.

We are created beings. And we have a sense that there is something out there responsible for this creation. That sense is what draws us to God. If you notice, through out history all human societies worship something. Weather it be God, or pagan gods, or the sun and other celestial beings or even mountains and rivers. We have a sense that there is something out there responsible for this creation and controlling forces we can not influence. And we feel the need to respond to that something.

God has given us this sense. And he also gives us free will. He wants us to find Him with our own free will. He could have created us to solely worship him with out a choice, but he didn't do that. He wants us to choose His Love. What kind of love would it be if we could not choose it? What kind of lover forces his love to love him? He planted the seed of His spirit in us and gave us the free will to choose to find Him and love Him. Loving Him from our own free will is the greatest act of our existence.

In Bible study, we are studying the book of Revelation which focuses heavily on divine judgement. It outlines in very apocalyptic imagery what we need to do as believers in Christ in order to withstand divine judgement. And really, it all boils down to one basic thing. We need to worship Him. This need to worship is a very basic instinct. Through out our lives, we will worship something- whether it be money, or material possessions, or work or God. We want to fill our soul with something. God is hoping to be that something to us.

This message of worship hit me hard this week. My purpose as a created human being is to worship Him. Not just at mass. But in my every day, minute to minute life. All of my acts should be in worship to Him. Jesus lived his life in constant worship. He spoke the truth. He helped the disadvantaged. He loved his friends. He welcomed the children. He prayed to the Father- prayed so hard that he sweat became blood. And the Love that came pouring out of Him lead Him to the cross for our sake.

What is keeping me from worshipping Him? What in my life draws me away from worship? What would my day be like if I let worship be in the driver's seat?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Princess goes Camping

This weekend, I was made to go camping. I had to go alone with little Gerry. My Husband conveniently scheduled the band trip over graduation camp out weekend. I knew of the conflict in September. However, the shock of actually having to go camping didn’t settle in until Friday. I always thought that camping alone in a tent with my 9 year old would be plan B. I just hadn’t figured out plan A yet. Well, unfortunately, plan A never materialized and I was forced to endure plan B.

You may think that I am overreacting a bit. Let me fill you in on a little background. I HAVE NEVER BEEN CAMPING. My family never went camping when I was a kid. I did go to Girl Scout camping which I thought was camping but now I have learned it wasn’t really camping. As girl scouts, we stayed in cabins and had real bathrooms next to our cabins. For me, this was camping enough. I do admit to being a bit of a Princess. I don’t do bugs. I don’t do dirt. I do require flushing toilets and clean showers. And if you want me to spend time outside, it must be dry and pleasant. I don’t do well with cold and hot. So you can see how camping is a bit out of the box for me.

The anticipation leading up to the camping was just as traumatic as the camping itself. I really avoided thinking about the whole event until about a week before it was supposed to take place. I still had a little hope that I could come up with Plan A but I was starting to mentally prepare for plan B. I watched the weather. Now, last year the weather was on my side. We had the threat of overnight severe weather so they canceled the overnight part of the trip. I was overjoyed. So I anxiously awaited the weather forecast for this camping trip. And there was a glimmer of hope. They were predicting thunderstorms on Friday night and Saturday morning. Camping was to begin on Saturday afternoon. So I started praying, “Please God, deliver me from this camping trip and delay the storms by one day.” I knew that God was my buddy and I believed that he would answer my prayer. I held out hope that He would give me that miracle all the way until Friday evening. When the weather played out like the original forecast predicted, I got nervous. Especially when I got the e-mail saying that even though it has rained a bunch, they weren’t canceling the campout yet. They were in a “wait and see” mode with the weather. That is when I had a light bulb moment regarding the weather and the camping. The rain was making the camp ground wet. Was I going to have to go camping in the mud? Surely, God would not do this to me! Are these people crazy? This campout should be canceled so I do have to sleep in the mud!

As evening wore on Friday, I got more nervous. That is when I decided to go buy camping supplies. At this point, I was holding out hope that Murphy’s law would come into play. If I buy all the camping supplies, then they will promptly cancel the campout. So I bought the camping supplies, and then checked my e-mail every 5 minutes. My answer came on Saturday morning: “Even though we may run into an occasional shower, the campout is a GO.” My heart stopped. I was really going camping. Camping in the mud and rain. Why is God doing this to me? Why hasn’t He delivered me from this camping problem? I knew what the answer was. It was probably going to draw me closer to my precious child and to Him. But why has he picked camping in the mud and rain to bring this about?! So, in my defeated moment, I began packing our camping supplies. The amount of stuff was amazing. I didn’t have the slightest clue how to get it from my car to the camping site. I was very overwhelmed.

The next morning, I got up, savored my shower and packed the car. We made a quick run to Wal-mart for dreaded rain gear. After dropping Ben off with my wonderful friend, we headed to the camp grounds. It was an hour long drive- an hour for me to think about all the mud and look at the dark clouds. When we arrived, my guardian angel in the form of a man with a pick-up truck helped me get our gear to the camp site. I promptly set up the tent all by myself. It was a nice feeling of accomplishment but I have to admit it wasn’t very hard. Then my friend arrived and I helped her set up her tent. After walking around a bit, we realized that we were the only two women camping without husbands. And my shoes were very muddy.

The first event was a water balloon fight at the pirate ships. The pirate ships are the size of real ships and the boys can launch balloons from the top of one ship and hit the other ship. Of course this was great fun for them. And I was enjoying watching it from the sidelines. Then the Cubmaster made all the leaders get on one ship and put all the kids on the other ship. Then after I reluctantly got on the ship, he suggested that the kids could leave their ship and try to get on the leaders’ ship if they wanted a better shot. This was not a good plan in my opinion. The other leaders made me take a water balloon so I could defend myself. I threw it at a kid but it didn’t break so I immediately went to plan B which was hide. That worked for a while but I was eventually hit and then I was wet. And my shoes were very muddy.

After the pirate ships, we changed, ate dinner and then headed out to the graduation ceremony. I was looking forward to seeing all the boys get their new neckerchiefs and advance to their next rank. We arrived and sat down and everything seemed nice. But really, we were being hunted. In those first few moments of our arrival, the mosquitoes were formulating their assault plan. It took them about 10 minutes for them to start their attack. And it was vicious. These were not normal mosquitoes. They were giant. Remember, everything is bigger in Texas. And they were not deterred by bug spray. I was killing them left and right. They tried every inch of my body and I fended them off as best I could. Unfortunately, they did succeed and I have a bite ON MY FACE. It’s such a wonderful souvenir. And after the battle was over and we were safely back at our camp site, my shoes were still very muddy.

For our evening activity, we had skits around the campfire. This was actually fun to watch. The boys love putting on a show for one another. Our boys ended up doing three skits. Their last skit was like one of those MasterCard commercials where the punch line was “watching Mrs. Lori’s face when we tell her she has to go potty in the woods, priceless.” After the skits, they gave me chocolate and I was happy. They all had a good time cooking their marshmallows and eating their smores. And then it was time to get ready for bed.

I was going to have to use what they considered to be a bathroom. I think it is called a latrine. The toilet is basically a hole in the ground and you bring your own toilet paper. I went inside and conducted a survey before I decided to actually use it. I knew there was a flushing toilet up the road but I also knew it wasn’t very clean. After weighing the long walk to the real bathroom with the conditions at the latrine, I decided to “man up” and use the latrine. I am proud to say I successfully used the facilities without touching anything. But my shoes were still muddy.

Sleeping in the tent went as well as to be expected. I am a very light and fussy sleeper. I did have an air mattress so I wasn’t completely uncomfortable. However, even though I had my ipod, I could still hear the bugs dive bombing the tent as I tried to fall asleep. It took forever for me to actually sleep. And then the wind woke me up at 5:30 and I couldn’t go back to sleep. It was very creepy. Even though I couldn’t sleep, I didn’t want to get up because it was FREEZING outside- well, I guess outside is inside when you are in a tent. Semantics aside, the point is I was COLD. And I was tired. Which I guess is why people kept inquiring about my rough night at breakfast. I guess I didn’t look so good. And the mosquito bite on the face didn’t help. I am really glad I forgot to bring a mirror.

After breakfast, we were to go on a hike. I was actually in better spirits. We were coming to the end of our trip!!!! Anyhow, I wasn’t that worried about the hike. I am a runner so I knew that I could handle the endurance it required. But other than that, I didn’t really know what we would encounter, so I guess you can say ignorance is bliss. As soon as we entered the woods, there it was- poison ivy. It was everywhere. We were hiking in the poison ivy forest. I immediately started to itch. And I was glad we were walking fast. I was worried the poison ivy would pass through my clothes and get me. And then the terrain got kind of rough. We hit a spot where basically people were sliding down this steep hill, hoping for the best. I decided to run down the hill into the arms of my other guardian angel in the form of a sturdy man with a good foot hold. After going up and down and all around in the poison ivy forest, we were allowed to pack up and go get our cars. The best news I heard on the trip yet! However, my shoes were still very muddy.

I must say that the trip wasn’t as horrible as I expected. I tend to think of the worst so I can take out the element of bad surprise. And I did have a good time with my son. He had a blast. It was fun to watch him be a boy with his friends. Being that it is Sunday, we had a short religious service this morning. And the man leading it asked this question: “Why are you here?” All I can say is this: it’s for the love of a 9 year-old boy. I got on the pirate ship for the love of a 9 year-old boy. I used a latrine for the love of a 9 year-old boy. I got harassed by Texas-sized mosquitoes for the love of a 9 year-old boy. I slept outside in a tent for the love of a 9 year old boy. I waded through the poison ivy forest for the love of a 9 year-old boy. I sacrificed my shoes to the mud for the love of a 9 year-old boy. When they put this baby boy in my arms 9 years ago, I knew in the back of my mind that I would have to endure the dreaded camping trip one day. And even though I avoided it like the plague, God made sure that I got to go so I could experience the love of a 9 year-old boy.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Relearning

As a former Southern Baptist and convert to Catholicism, I have some things that I need to rationalize and rethink. As a child, I was taught that there are some teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church that are wrong. One of those is the Crucifix. I remember asking an adult why do Catholics use a Crucifix and we use just a cross. I was told that we(Southern Baptists) like to concentrate on the risen Lord and not upon His death. The Glory is in His Resurrection, not His death.

They are right in the sense that there is tremendous glory in His Resurrection. But there is so much value in understanding, and meditating upon His Passion. His death was the ultimate act of Love. Through His passion, I understand how He suffered so that I may have life. Through his passion, I can begin to contemplate his supernatural Love for humanity. Even though he faced rejection on so many levels, He still willingly laid down His life for His friends. In His Passion, I find His Love. And even though it isn't pleasing to the eye, the Crucifix is pleasing to my heart.

Last night when I walked out of mass, the moon was red. Tonight when I walked out of mass, I could smell the rain. It is interesting how creation recognizes His Passion during Holy week.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Conviction

I shared with my husband my penance. He looked very surprised when I told him that Father said I needed to go to the Triduum. He said in jest, "Wow, you must be a big sinner! The most I got was a couple Hail Marys." And then he hugged me and told me how great it was that his wife was a big sinner. If you know us, then you would be laughing right now. Humor is the main language we speak in our marriage. But he got me thinking.

I have been so convicted lately. My sin has been staggering. I have felt heavy and sad and unworthy and inadequate. I have been trying to figure out why this conviction has hit me so hard. Why am I struggling so much with my wretchedness? Why is it so illuminated? I haven't done anything horrible like murder or anything. But I just feel the conviction weighing on my soul.

Tonight, I prayed about it before mass started. As I was meditating on it, I felt the my world bear down on me and I just prayed, Jesus, what do I do. "Keep your eyes on Me" was his answer. And as I looked at him on the crucifix, and on the alter, and on the faces of my fellow parishioners, I felt peace and that heaviness was lifted for a moment.

Tonight was the night we celebrated Jesus' gift of the last supper. It was on this night, that he taught us about service and gave us the Eucharist. He washed the feet of his disciples. And in doing as he taught, we washed the feet of each other. It is easier to wash than to be washed. It is easier to wallow in self pity than it is to accept forgiveness. It is easier to hold on to what you know than it is to let go and let God.

After I received my Lord in the Eucharist, I again felt that heaviness. The conviction was illuminated so brightly that I couldn't see anything but it. Then I remembered that I was supposed to keep my eyes on him. That is when I realized why it was happening. When you walk so closely in his light, you see all of the naked truth. His light doesn't hide anything. That is why I felt so wretched. His light was shining on my imperfect humanity. When I took my eyes off my wretchedness and looked at him, he told me, "I did all of this for you. You are forgiven."

All I can say is wow. What a moment.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Have Been Reconciled

Well, I went. I waited in a long line. I had an hour to keep thinking and rethinking everything I thought I should say. And to get more nervous. But, I must admit it was very much worth while. And it was good- no great. It was surreal to hear a flesh and blood person tell me what God has been telling me in prayer. I haven't shared any of what God has been telling me with anyone and for all of it to come pouring out of the Priest's mouth was a little jaw dropping. God knows me well and he knows the obvious must hit me square in the forehead in order for me to "get it."

Got it, God. Thanks for loving me enough to go the extra mile to make the obvious dance out in front of me in bright, pretty colors. I must be an exasperating project. Not only is Your Love unfathomable, but so is Your patience. I promise not to wait another 10 years. I will go when You tell me to go. I am second.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Reconciliation

I am writing here today mostly to hold myself accountable to what I have planned for tomorrow. You see, I haven't been to reconciliation since I went for the first time in RCIA 10 plus years ago. I have allowed myself to find excuse after excuse for not going. When I first converted, I was involved with a very liberal college parish who didn't emphasize the importance of the sacrament. After college, life got busy and we didn't become heavily involved in church. I didn't grow up in the Catholic faith and I didn't feel the tug to go. I didn't really understand the value in going. Growing up, I was taught that the Catholic practice of reconciliation was not a correct interpretation of the bible. So, it has been a hard concept for me to understand. Now I think I do and I am ready to go. As long as I don't chicken out. Which is why I am writing here. If I write it here, then I will go.

In my quest to understand the importance of reconciliation, I have been in prayer. I have prayed for God to show me where I need to examine; what I need to rid myself of; how I need to change. He has shown me that. And the list is quite long. I am easily overwhelmed by it. I am praying for guidance. I am praying for the priest. I hope God has cleared enough time in his schedule for my confession.

Peace Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
Divine Master,
Grant that I may seek not so much to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For in giving we receive,In pardoning we are pardoned,
And in dying we are born to eternal life.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Who Crucified My Lord?

The answer is me. This is really hard to face. But God has made it clear to me today. Today is Palm Sunday. It is the day Jesus arrived in Jerusalem for passover and then to die on the cross. Today we studied the Passion of our Lord. Listening to His passion brought me to that moment. The moment Jesus wept for us. The love He has is overwhelming. Here He is. He is about to die. And that is not His concern. His concern is the reason He had to die. He is concerned for our lives. He knows that due to sin, we struggle and struggle and struggle to find peace, love and happiness. We struggle against outside forces and inside forces. And sometimes we do not end up on His side. We don't end up in His love. And He wept.

The sanhedrin led the people to distrust and reject Jesus which resulted in his crucifixion. They were the typical human beings. They were too proud to acknowledge Jesus' authority. They were too self involved to look at the bigger picture. They were so involved with going through the motions that they missed the miracle that was standing in their midst. They didn't want to give up their power. They didn't want to become humble. They would not open their hearts to God's love. These human traits(or sins)are what led them to nail Jesus to a cross and watch him die.

And these are the same traits I struggle with every day. During this lent, we have been challenged to die to ourselves. Dying to these traits will free us to walk closer with Him. If I give in and allow myself to take credit when I shouldn't, or be too proud to admit a mistake, or take control when I should put it on the alter, then up goes the wall between me and my God. I become one of those people 2000 years ago, standing in the crowd, chanting for Jesus to be crucified. How can He forgive me? It's a Love that my sinful, human self is still trying to comprehend.

Here are the lyrics to a hymn that really spoke to me today:

How Could You Say No?
by Mickey cates, Brown Bannister, and Billy Spraque

Thorns on his head, spear in his side;
Yet it was a heartache that made him cry.
He gave His life so you would understand.
Is there any way you could say "no" to this man?

If Christ Himself were standin' here;
His face full of glory, His eyes full of tears;
and He reached out His arms with His nailed-printed hands,
is there any way you could say "no" to this man?

How could you look into His tear-stained eyes
knowing that it's you He's thinking of?
Could you tell Him you're not ready now to give Him your life?
Could you say that you don't think you need His love?

Jesus is here, with His arms open wide.
You can see Him with your heart, if you'll stop lookin' with your eyes.
He's left it up to you; He's done all that He can.
Is there anyway you could say no to this man?

Thorns on His head, your life in His hands,
Is there any way you could say no to this man?