Sunday, June 12, 2011

Humbled by Faces

They slowed it down.

I can't believe they slowed it down.

There was such a good crowd, such a great crowd to worship. These people can't possibly enjoy this rendition of this song. I mean, it isn't right! It's the wrong speed! I love this song and they are not doing it right!

I just don't know why we can't do this song right, I mean, it is a simple song. It is a beautiful song, but it can't be sung this slow and soft, it needs to be passionate!

I am just so fed up with this.


The classes are typically separate. I bring my class into the larger room where the other class meets. I am apprehensive because this is a new idea, a new step in unity. Even so, my fear remains:

Youth make adults nervous. Adults make youth nervous.

And yet we sat, Sunday School hour looked different as we served pancakes and ate a meal together. We laughed at movies, milk chugging, and Big John's Texas drawl. The youth and adults joined together, slightly awkward but together nonetheless.



Presence is important. My wife and I look for a seat in the church auditorium. We are always some of the last to sit around, and so we seek a spot. We note a young man who has been coming alone. He is not like us, any of us really. We are a church of primarily white people, he is Spanish. He is one of the dozen or so "other" in our church, yet we are more the same than at first glance. He is just like our other youth--shy at first, but full of life. He came to youth group one night and our sponsor "grandparents" started picking him up every time they were on their way to the church.

He sat alone this day, still not very comfortable with the big worship setting. And so we joined him.

He is one of us, and we are one of him. We are one.



The song set me off. So quick to anger. I turned my focus from the screen and looked around. Singing was rising from the people--from my people. The people I committed to living with, worshiping with, serving with...together.


I see the kid who hugged me and helped me as I cried, sharing the secret of my families miscarriage. I looked at the new family who started coming just a few weeks ago and has joined in greatly. I looked at the family who is always late, who has a son who can't stay awake and yet they are all here, Sunday after Sunday striving to worship; raising their kids to know God and the church--not just one or the other. I look at the Senior Minister, worshiping with this community for more than twenty years. Together.

We were all singing together. Lifting up praise to the one who holds us together, praising the God who binds all, who created all, who loves all.


The music is beautiful.

The words majestic, my song, the rest of the songs. Slow, fast, modern and old school. Southern Gospel and modern praise tune. We praised. My heart changed, not the music, as humility overtook my critical eye. I saw something that washed the critic away...


Note: Lowell Church of Christ--I love you! You are a people that is much like me--seeking honestly after God. I thank you for letting me worship and minister with you, as one of you, even in the moments of bad attitude, mistakes, and immaturity. You all are a true blessing.

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