Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pew in the Pew

Often my favorite part of going to church is worship. The Worship Team at my church is amazing. They lead us in the great hymns of the faith and worshipful songs of today. I also love watching others worship. Some close their eyes and lose themselves in the song, some lift their hands to heaven and worship with their whole being, some worship in silent reverence as they contemplate the depth of the words, and still others are just to cool to sing in public. Me, I’m some what of an ecliptic Worshiper. I live in all of these different styles. I remember the first time I dared to lift my hands in worship. I felt so self conscious. What would others think? Does this make me look self righteous and spiritual? First it was one hand raised at shoulder height and then two. Eventually I didn’t care at all what others thought, or how I was perceived and I would raise my hands to God hoping to hold His hands in gratitude. I have an audience of One and for now He is all that matters. I enjoy worshipping God most when I’m alone. I will put on my I Pod get on my knees and fully give myself over to the One who created me to worship Him. There are no distractions, only gratitude and amazement. I often weep at my Saviors feet worshiping Him with tears of thankfulness.

I have been blessed with many gifts and talents, however when it comes to singing I’m a pork chop at a bar mitzvah. Those of us who sing much like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs live by a special code of ethics. We understand that as much as we enjoy cursing the world with our melodious melodies the general public loathes us as much as a chain smoker in a crowded elevator. When we sing in public, to avoid being stoned, burned at the stake or thrown to the lions, we keep the volume level down to a whisper. Just to keep myself safe, personally I prefer lip syncing. This simple code of ethics allows us to participate in society in harmony and mutual understanding. Well the lady who was in the pew behind me yesterday obviously didn’t get the e-mail. This well intentioned lady sounded much like a drunken opera singer riding down a bumpy road accompanied by squealing tires. She sat directly behind me as she auditioned for the twisted version of Opera American Idol. The vocals behind me made it virtually impossible to think of anything else. As the service went on I had to pinch myself from giggling out loud. The ego is a powerful drug that can delude us into greatness. Perhaps the lady behind me was drunk on ego. The small boy in front of me stared at this lady with big eyes, his mouth wide open, as he tried to wrap his mind around the crazy rifts that filled his ears. My son Noah plugged his ears and buried himself in my lap. I’m sure that back in the day when opera hymns were all the rage that this lady rocked the house, but now singing contemporary worship songs, it was as out of place as me trying to rap. An evil thought filled my mind as I thought of joining her in on opera worship. Maybe opera worship would become a new acceptable practice for those of us who lacked social singing ability. My rebellious heart gave way to compassion and reverence for the Lord and I restrained myself into submission. In the end I know that we have an audience of One, and the singing from behind me that filled my heart and mind with ugliness was a beautiful sound to the Lord. In a way I admired the lady for singing with such passion. Perhaps one day I will find the courage and break the social contract of the vocally impaired and make a joyful sound to our audience of One. On that day I hope I’m singing behind you.

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