Friday, April 19, 2019

Roseine would Shout!

A precious Saint of God went home to Heaven this week.

A dear friend that Terri and I met when we served at the Walden Chapel Baptist Church.

Roseine Nelson.

Her daughter Pam, as a great shock to family and friends, preceded her by only a couple of days. 

Roseine was a very quiet and reserved person. Always happy and smiling, soft-spoken, kind and gentle. There was never any pretense, show, or flamboyance about her, for she never wanted to draw any attention to herself. She was humble and unassuming in every way.

But sometimes -- Roseine would shout.

Many of you reading this will have no idea what that means.

It doesn't mean that Roseine said something in a loud voice, or that she raised her voice to cry out an alarm, or a call of distress, fear, or pain. Truly, I cannot explain or describe this sound that comes deep from within the soul of someone who has been moved by God to announce His Manifest Presence.

In all of my 63 years I have only known three people who were touched by God in this fashion. All them were very much alike in their demeanor and personality. Quiet, bashful people who always did more blending in than standing out.

When you read verses in the Bible that refer to an undescribed shout, or if you hear the word shout used in a Gospel song or sermon -- it is probably in reference to this spiritual phenomenon.  It cannot be explained to those who have never heard it - it cannot be replicated or manufactured - and you will never have to explain it to anyone who has heard it.

Now, God is Omnipresent. He is always and everywhere present. But the Bible, and the experience of Believers attest to the fact that often God manifests Himself to be more present, or intentionally present -- in one particular place -- than in other places. Holy places are places that God has made special because of a manifestation of Himself in that place.

Isaiah 55:6 says, "Seek the Lord while He may be found, call on Him while He is near."  A God who is everywhere can choose to be known, sensed, or perceived in a special way to those who are seeking Him in worship and praise, at a unique time and in a physical location.

Not often, never predictable, never planned, prompted, or even imagined -- when everything would fall into place in the heart and mind of God, Roseine would shout.

Jesus promised, "Where two or more of you are gathered together in my name, I promise to be there in your midst." We always know that He is always there -- always in our midst when we are worshiping or singing. Roseine did not bring Him with her call - she let us know that He had arrived!

My skin chilled, goosebumps went up my spine, the hair on my arms and the back of my neck stood straight up and I knew what everyone else knew - the power of God and the Spirit of God was very present with us, and He was working and touching each of us in ways that we did not know or could not understand.

Our hearts would join and our eyes would meet - we would nod imperceptibly. And it was never a sign for us to do something, or to go into action. It was always something so completely other that we were intended only to acknowledge it, to be aware of it, to recognize it. It never interrupted our service or caused a change of direction. It was not a disruption. It never drew attention to the one who shouted.

Her shout was never planned or instigated. She never knew when she would be overcome. It welled up within her like a spring. She could not produce it, nor could she prevent it.

The last song that Linda Sue led us all in singing at her memorial service on Thursday was Shoutin' Time in Heaven. Surely it was. 

But, for now, it is very quiet here.

Our loss.

I often see people clapping, and stomping, hollering, and dancing - trying to bring down the power of God. Trying to make the wind of God blow. It's all just strange fire. I feel nothing of God in it at all.

Believe me - it was never a sweet prayer that made Roseine shout.

Never a wonderful song or a strong sermon.

It was always God who touched her and brought the sound of His presence to our ears.

We try desperately to make it happen every time that we get together - and we just can not make it happen. God shows up any time that He wants to - and not always when and where WE want him to.

We may never hear that sound again - until Christ Himself returns - with a SHOUT!  (I Thessalonians 4:16).

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