Beyond Sunday Worship

September 14, 2015

Sunday, I threw my hands up in the air. With the sounds of instruments and singing all around, with the voices of the congregation in my ears, I worshiped You. Your presence was almost tangible. My heart swelled, my spirit danced, with the glory of worship.

Monday, the music was gone. The instruments sat silently in a dark building, the congregation long disbursed. My hands, instead of raised, were buried – submerged in a murky pool of dishwasher. Bills lay scattered on the counter nearby. Chubby, ketchup-coated fingers tugged at my skirt, accompanied by an incessant whine, and I wanted to snap a reply. But then I thought of Your patience with me. And my heart sighed, my spirit softened, with an attitude of worship.

Wednesday, I faced That Issue – the one that keeps coming up, the one that sometimes keeps me awake at night. My integrity was tested; there was no one to call me out if I caved, no one to shake a finger if I violated my conscience. In one hand was compromise, in the other, faithfulness. Which to extend? The choice was mine, and I made my choice before You and You alone, my audience of One. And even though it hurt, even though I longed to succumb to the pressure, my heart surrendered — my spirit submitted — to a lifestyle of worship.

Friday, I felt pain. The raw ache from an unexpected loss deepened until it almost hurt to breathe. Winds raged, skies roiled, and I wondered if You were gone. I feared You had left me. I opened my hands, empty with loss . . . And as I looked at them, I thought of the nail prints in Your own. I thought of Your final cries on the cross. And my heart broke. My spirit rose — in a commitment to worship.

Saturday, I faced the questions – those that always come sooner or later:

    “Why do you dress like that?”
    “Why do you spend so much time at that place?”
    “Why can’t you come with us?”
    “Why can’t you be like us?”
    “Why do you believe something that was written so long ago?”

And my hand tightened around Your hand, the One with whom I walk. Your presence, vibrant and alive in my soul, warmed me, embraced me. My heart laughed.

My spirit sang . . . with the beautiful privilege of worship.