Before we went to China to get my sweet Charlie, I felt the Lord whispering to me. I kept thinking of the story of the crippled man who was healed through the Name of Jesus Christ. We find that he immediately went “walking and leaping and praising God.” The whispers that I heard about my Charlie was this: “Walking and leaping and praising God—that is Charlie’s story.” I didn’t know what that meant or what that would look like specifically. We knew that he could not walk due to a birth defect. Would God heal him? Would he walk physically? Or would he simply “walk with God”, as it was said of Noah? You probably know by now that God did miraculously heal him. He walks (and runs!) and leaps! We are so thankful. But what about the praising part? I want to tell you about my little Charlie and his heart for praising God.
The first time we took him to church we kept him in the service with us. We were late (as usual) and the worship music had already begun. We found seats and began to sing along. Though our church is contemporary, there was no one around us raising their hands in praise, nor was any one in my family—except Charlie. He immediately raised his right hand high in the air and kept it raised high through the song. And the next song. And the next. Do I need to remind you that he came from China? He had never heard worship music, he had never been to church, he had only recently even heard of Jesus, after we had adopted him. God has placed in his heart a spirit of praise. And it inspires me to praise.
When we had been home for a few months, Charlie had learned a few songs which he asked for over and over throughout the day. Which ones did he want? Worship songs. His favorite was 10,000 Reasons. And though his English was still lacking, he could loudly sing along:
Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I’ll worship Your Holy name
Now, I admit that his taste in music has expanded and he loves a good country tune (which is a bit fun to watch—cute Asian boy singing a country song!) But if I play a worship song, he will stop what he is doing and come sit quietly beside me. God has placed in his heart a spirit of worship. And it inspires me to worship.
A few months ago, Sally (age 5 and also adopted from China), Charlie (age 3), and I were all sitting on the floor working on a craft project. As we worked we listened to music. When In Christ Alone began, I stopped what I was doing and began to sing along, eyes closed, hands raised.
In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
It was a holy moment. I felt Charlie crawl in my lap and when I looked down, he was crying. I stopped singing to ask, “Charlie, what’s wrong?” He just leaned his head against me and wiped his tears. Sally, the older and wiser big sis, immediately said, “Don’t worry, Mom. It’s just happy tears.” God has placed in his heart a spirit of understanding. He may not understand it all, but he understands enough to know that God is good and we should be moved by that. Charlie inspires me to remember and be moved.
So, do I still think that “walking, leaping, and praising God” is his story? Absolutely. And I am beyond grateful.