Chin Up!

“…set your mind on things above…”

We are earthly. Earthy. Ugly. Down. The mouth just more naturally turns “frown”.   It’s sad.  So is much that we experience. Yet when I’m down my dear brother Joe often tells me to “keep my chin up”.   Silly saying, huh?  My chin doesn’t naturally go up.  It naturally turns down.  Truly, what good is an “upped” chin?

I think I know now.  You see, when my chin is turned upward it points my face toward the One Who is Gladness. Hope. Love.  Joy.  With our chins up, we more easily see others and in others, we see Him.  With our chins up, we more easily see creation and in creation, we see His work which speaks of His glory.  Nothing compares with His glory.

He touched me with a gift Friday that has my chin jutting into the stratosphere. I can’t even fully explain the depth of the joy. If I told you the whole story you would surely doze.  Through a providential series of events, He reconnected me with a sweet cousin who I have not seen or spoken with in 3 decades (well, I can’t really remember if it has been that long or not but I have not seen this sweet girl in a way long time). She is the daughter of a man who showed me Jesus in real life.  She, her mother, her brother and her daddy, Greg, shared with me a summer I will never forget.  A summer when Jesus became a real person to me. Before that summer Jesus was just a name in an important Book or a flannel figure on a board or the historic Son of God or something less – to me. But that summer, I was with people who knew Him by name.  They talked about Him even when it wasn’t church time.  Goodness, they even sang about Him when they weren’t at church.  It was weird.  It was good.

So Friday, my dear cousin asks me to become her Facebook friend.  Facebook is dumb.  Sort of.  You know, I am simply too mature and cool for FB.  But then I saw her name and read her invitation.  Tears instantly filled my eyes.  The more we “talked”, the deeper was the stab of joy.  She still loved Jesus.  His grace, tenderness and joy was all over her.  The tears just fell and fell.  I still can’t  understand or fully explain but Lord Jesus, Who had seemed so far away, was instantly oozing out of her and onto me.  Even now the tears return.  Sweet tears.  Love tears.  Joy tears.  It’s okay to be a cry baby.  Jesus wept.

God, through Trace, “set my mind on things above”.  He through “she” turned my frown upside down.  He gently placed his hand under my chin and said, “keep your chin up boy”.

“Yes Sir.  I will.”

Thank you Holy Father.  I was flat faced.

Thank you Lord Jesus.  I was down in the mouth

Thank you Holy Spirit.  There was water on my fire.

I love you isn’t enough.  I worship You.  You are my Life.  Hope.  Peace.  Strength.

Thank you, Trace, for loving Him and me.  I love you and Him.

Keep your chins up, my brothers and sisters.  You just might find your long lost cousin and be blessed with Jesus’ joy.


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