Guest Post: Troy Hatfield
Artwork: Luke Mattson
Are there any verses in the Bible that might have been meaningful at one point in your life, but seem to have little resonance as you’ve grown older? I remember a passage that was quoted a lot while I was in college and then when I was working at my first church job. It was Isaiah 52:7.
How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
This text was “used” as an encouragement to share one’s faith, to “witness.” As I’ve grown older, I’ve associated this text with napkin-drawing evangelism and “intentional spiritual conversations.” I’m not judging whether these actions and impulses are right or wrong necessarily (that can be another writing project) – I’ve simply attached this verse with a particular time in my life and with particular activities. Essentially, I’ve pushed this verse out of my head and heart.
Until recently that is.
About two months ago, my mother-in-law went into the hospital quickly and unexpectedly. There were all kinds of questions and very few answers. It was a scary time, especially the first three days. My wife, Lis, spent virtually every minute of those three days in the hospital, while I was bouncing back and forth between the hospital and work and home.
All the while, people rallied around us in remarkable and humbling ways.
Levi helped (aka did all of the work) to replace a poorly timed water heater failure in our basement.
Kyle and Kate brought a couple meals and calm dispositions.
Anne and Heidi sat patiently in the hospital room so Lis could sleep or go home to shower.
Carolyn and Bennett calmed our anxieties with their levelheaded medical knowledge.
Our Monday night small group volunteered to feed the cats or clean the house.
A couple pastors were willing to sit and pray with us at a moment’s notice.
In short, Lis and I experienced a kind of salvation. These feet brought us good news. We experienced peace and glad tidings and reminders that “God reigns!” We were quite literally saved by these people.
How beautiful those feet, indeed!
We are grateful for this continuing-to-be-saved life and for those who consistently bring us good news. And we are challenged to be those kinds of people. Our world certainly needs it.
Troy is Lead Worship Pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, MI, where he’s been on staff since 2004. A musician, Anglophile, voracious reader and owner of more black clothing than anyone he knows, Troy has also recently married Lis, a violinist and lover of every member of the animal kingdom. Follow Troy on twitter @tr0yisbald.