The best part about hagba, though, is looking at those words. Even if I've just been up at the bima to read them, I'm always amazed by the sight of a whole army of columns waving in the air at perfect attention.
This past Shabbat I looked up at the scroll during the moment of hagba and saw something even better: the future. Next week during Parashat Beshalah we read Shirat Hayam, sung by the Israelites as the waters began to part. Written like bricks in a wall, it's unmistakable amidst the sea of letters in the Sefer Torah:
Last Shabbat the Israelites were in Egypt. But here was proof, in the wide, unrolled scroll like a flag above our heads, that by next week—each word and person supported by the others—they would find freedom.