At church yesterday we did what we always do, what I cherish. Dan saves a seat for us (2nd service is always very crowded) and I take the kids to the back corner, where other children and some parents are standing, singing, worshipping with flags, still cramped due to the busy-ness of the service but with much more room to move than in the seats.
I got Ethan his flag. We were late. Sometimes when you walk in late it's hard to focus, to settle yourself and let go of everything and just worship. Sometimes in the back I can feel a bit disconnected, especially if people nearby aren't really choosing to fully participate. But yesterday was different. The spirit of God was hovering.
I was just behind the back row on the right side, which has been reserved for awhile for a group of mentally challenged adults and a few of their caretakers. I am not quite sure where they come from but in the past I've seen them disembarking from a van. I believe they live at some sort of group home. For awhile there was a large group of them, and then I didn't see them for quite some time and felt sad, but yesterday at least, a few of them were back.
One woman I remembered from the past was there again. She's got to be in her 40s or 50s, short and stocky, and always has a grin on her face. That's what I recalled most about her from the past -- her joyful, childlike countenance. I was glad to see her once more.
The music swelled. The worship pastor was singing his own song to God. I felt the waves of goodness sweep over me. As I did, just in that moment, I noticed the woman in front of me. Suddenly she was raising her hands in worship. She hadn't been doing that before. She had been sitting, watching, and smiling. But now she was worshipping.
She felt something. Her spirit felt something.
I remembered my mom talking about taking Andy to a church service, when in the highest point of worship, from out of nowhere, Andy stood up and began raising his hands. Something within him was compelled to respond; to praise.
As we stood and sang and let God's presence envelop us, I thought about what God really sees when He looks at each of us. I thought of how little He probably cares about my singing talents (I've had solos and been on the worship team in the past). I thought about the way people undoubtedly feel sorry for this woman, or shun her, or pacify her childlike-ness in perhaps a condescending way, when God looks at her and sees something so much different.
He sees a spirit that is whole. He sees a soul not imperfect, but less jaded, more innocent and trusting -- the way He has called each one of us to be. He does not look at that woman and pity her.
I want that set of eyes.
Monday, February 28, 2011
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beautiful post. beautiful worship. thank you.
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