Fathom Mag
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Published on:
July 2, 2019
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2 min.
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Holy, holy, holy

Lord, I am ready to walk through the forest without fear of getting lost. I am ready to praise your artistry without picking up my phone.
Rachel Joy Welcher

I wonder how we will declare holy, holy, holy on God’s new earth. Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn decided they would rather go to hell than sing and play the harp for all eternity, but I think our worship will look a lot more like playing in summer fields, in overalls, under God’s smile. Racing the sun. Collecting shells on the beach. Theologians keep telling me there will be no oceans in the age to come. They are probably right - I have stubbornly avoided those passages - because the ocean is the place that has always ushered me most intimately into the presence of God. I talk to him there with reverence and worship, in awe of His might, that he controls the tide and created the glory of the waves and sand and sea turtles. I sing holy, holy, holy as I walk, barefoot, through the sand. I shiver in a good way, as the sun sets, and thin pink lines dissolve into dark blue night.

Father, I can’t wait to be nearer to you, nearer than this. I can’t wait to look upon your glory with eyes undistracted. I am so full of myself. So often full of disappointment, anger, and grief. Lord, I am ready to walk through the forest without fear of getting lost. I am ready to praise your artistry without picking up my phone. I want to stay mesmerized with you, holy, holy, holy, Lover of My Soul. Rescuer. Friend. Mighty God. 

I put my old mutt on his leash and take him for an evening walk. He has been begging for attention all day. He zig-zags and marks each mailbox. He sniffs every bush and tree. As we approach the third hill, he starts to slow down, and I tell him, “If I can do it, you can do it, Frank.” He looks up at me and pants. I look at him and wheeze. “If you can do it, I can do it,” and together we push our aching bones up the final hill, where home sits, surrounded by orange lilies. 

Any time spent here on earth marveling over God’s creation is preparation for eternity where we will sing holy, holy, holy by lingering over the scent of the lilac, feeling the breeze off the lake, and marvelling over the colors of different birds. Music is the harp, and music in the crunch of leaves beneath my feet. It is the knowledge that I am small but seen, a sinner but saved, an orphan but adopted; tired but promised an age of wilt-less lilies and feet that do not grow weary.

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Rachel Joy Welcher
Rachel Joy Welcher is an editor-at-large at Fathom Magazine. She earned a Master’s degree in theology from the The University of St. Andrews, taught high school English for ten years, is a published poet (Blue Tarp, Finishing Line Press), and writes for magazines such as Cordella, RELEVANT, and The Gospel Coalition. She lives with her husband Evan, who is a pastor in Glenwood, Iowa.

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