Worship redefined

He was prodding me in the back, right there in church in the middle of worship. Frustration crept up on me and I found myself taking a deep breath in anticipation of the sigh that would fall foul out of my mouth. Reprimanding self, I remembered who I was worshiping. He, the One that held the children in His arms, who received them when the disciples were trying to shoo them away. This is the Man I was singing too and yet I was more focused on myself and my efforts to enjoy worship than in receiving the child. The reality was that I wasn't really enjoying worship. I was standing because everyone else was, not because my body was posturing itself in a position of worship. I was singing the words to join in but with no authentic heart connect to the Person I was singing to. And this, I called worship.
Sitting down, I closed my eyes, trying to focus, trying to engage on a higher level of spirituality. When I felt the bump against my right side of a child's body I opened my eyes with with that look of "really?" she grinned, all toothy, with her shock of black hair, little Asian eyes and strong limbs, and said "hi!". I am ashamed even now that I looked at her blank, working the frustration back from the face to the hidden place, and immediately conviction and regret flooded my soul. She was offering me affection and love, right here, and I was rejecting her, and the back-prodder, as if I could summon the hoards to heaven to give me something purer than the love of a child. I cuddled her close until she bounced off my knee to race back around the sanctuary.
I rubbed the head of the back-prodder, which for me was an action more sacred than this musical rite I was working at. We walked to the back of the room around to the communion table and took it together, the bread, the wine - His life in us, that unfailing love and grace freely given. Circling back to our seats I sat, happy in heart and filled with His love. The emptiness I'd felt through song was filled through a letting go of myself to receive these precious little ones and find His love in the midst.
It redefines how I view worship. Worship is in all the places that I am stretched and still choose Him because of who He is. It's where I am empty and I trust Him to fill me with His love. It's where I get to the end of myself and my reach for Him and His goodness is sincere and real. And it's the authentic heart coming to Him in song, declaring that He alone is worthy and he alone is God.


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