today, buckhead church was awesome. not that it isn't other sundays, but today was different. today was a baptism sunday that engaged my heart, mind (and tears) till the end.
The first lady, a very attractive 30-something explained her story: college, met a guy, got married, got pregnant. sounds great until the guy left her 8 months pregnant, broke and alone. she started coming to buckhead church, working in waumba land volunteering with kids and coming back around to the idea of God when she met a guy. they got engaged, but the engagement was broken "abruptly" and she hit an all time low. she realized that she needed jesus, and surrendered to the Lord. what is interesting in this story is that you don't immediately feel content b/c it's not over yet. she doesn't yet have the perfect house and kids and husband, but the Lord is faithful and can give her hope and love in the midst of all that "unfinished-ness"--enough to allow them to be baptized. she (and all the girls on my row, myself included) cried through the whole thing. it was beautiful.
The second was a guy from britain. his tape messed up. no sound. seriously. the tech guys could not make it work, and there was an anticipation that turned to panic when we all realized we wouldn't hear his story--you mean God brought him all this way to this place to have a congregation not hear his story? five minutes later they gave the man a mic and he gave a concise slightly emotional account of his story. it was amazing, b/c it wasn't recorded or proofed or perfect: it was REAL. afterward, we all stood (several thousand) and applauded his courage to speak about a personal relationship, a personal transformation live in front of so many strangers. it was a beautiful thing: what God had done in his life and what God did in the hearts of our church today. needless to say, i was a wreck by the end.
the worship was touching and andy's message was--of course--totally real and pertinent, but the service was unforgettable because of the people who shared their stories and were baptized. wow.