This is hard.
I have been trying to find the words for some time now. I put pen to paper, but nothing flowed. Then two weeks ago, I broke down in church. The first two tears I wiped away in silence, but they started coming faster and faster. I had to take my glasses off, and eventually excuse myself from the sanctuary.
I pride myself on being able to keep my emotions in check. Well, most of my emotions. (I have yet to conquer my anger. When I’m mad, everybody knows it. It consumes me, and everyone else around me. I try very hard not to get there.) So on this typical Sunday morning, with all my soul-hurt spilling over and clouding my vision portals, the last thing I wanted to do was praise the Lord.
It didn’t matter that my dear friend was leading a song that I loved. Didn’t matter that my husband was looking lovely in a suit and tie, and spiffy spectacles he wears just for me. Didn’t matter that my babies were fine or that my best friends were just a phone call away.
Now don’t get me wrong. I was grateful. I thanked the Creator for life, and for the lives of my loved ones. I was grateful for one more day, but on that particular day. I didn’t feel like clapping and rocking.
It’s been a rough couple of months. Work has been tougher than usual, and super smart me, volunteered for extra duties. I simply wasn’t prepared to take on the extra tasks. My house is generally a mess, and I rarely have the time or energy to give my floors the mopping they so rightly deserve. The sink is always full of dirty dishes, even right after I finish cleaning the kitchen. I’m generally functioning on about 4-5 hours of sleep a night. Sometimes less, especially on nights before the blog is due.
All of that came crashing down on my head last Sunday morning, and for those few moments, the praise portion of praise and worship, was out of my reach.
But the worship portion…That was in full effect. I am most in awe of the LORD when I am at my weakest point. When my babies were born and I felt like I had nothing left to give, I felt His hand of mercy. I took a deep breath, and I called on Jesus, and the ancestors to help me pull through. When I watched the funeral directors close the casket on my daddy, I took the loudest and deepest breath I’d ever taken. You could hear my breath over my grandmother’s sobs…And in that moment we were both in full on worship, of the one who gives life and the one who takes it away.
Worship warriors are not always the ones with the loudest shouts, or the tambourine in their Sunday bags. Sometimes, worshipping in spirit and truth looks like the sister in the corner with the red eyes, and the lap full of crumpled tissue, barely able to lift her head. I was barely able to eke out an inaudible, cold and broken Hallelujah. I suppose it doesn’t matter that no one else heard it. The only One who mattered certainly did.
That Sunday, by the time I pulled myself together, the pastor was giving his text. Psalm 126. And when he got to the fifth verse, I nearly lost it again.
I took a deep breath and found my seat in the sanctuary.
P.S. Please listen to both of these. Your ears and soul will thank you.