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Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Scribbles and Scrambles - Barren-Souled

Our Wednesday night children’s ministry led worship at church on a recent Sunday morning.

A couple of two-year-olds sang with off-key gusto that brought tears to my eyes. And a few four-year-olds treated us to a holy break-dance.

The tweeners, well, depends…the boys moved their mouths robotically and their arms in slow motion replay. The girls perked their way through the songs, belting out the lyrics with Annie enthusiasm.

And then I had an urge.

I’ve done this before and regret it.

I glanced behind me -- at the congregation, during the song “Undignified.”

One man scowled through downcast eyes, his jowls draped over his arms that crossed over his chest.

I’ll admit this song, which shares David’s moment of unbridled passion at the Ark of the Covenant’s entrance into Jerusalem, makes me uncomfortable.

Wild behavior, especially dancing, feels a little too out-of-control for my reformed Baptist heart.

But I’m working on that.

I’ve even been known to raise my hands – until someone conspiratorially whispered, “Great, another hand raiser. Glad I’m not alone.” in my ear. Which kind of took the worship out of it for me now that I knew someone else watched for something meant as an intimate gesture toward God…

I’ve begun to work on my heebie-jeebies with extreme worship. So I understand how this man, who is old school and very uncomfortable with music outside of tradition, might feel.

As I participated with hand motions and childlike worship, a thought tickled my brain. David’s wife, Michal, ended up barren until the day she died because of her attitude toward David. Did it also have to do with an attitude toward his worship style? And even more important...her attitude toward his God?

Is it possible that this man sits there with a frown because of his attitude toward worship and he suffers the barrenness of soul that comes with it?

We can’t expect to like all forms of music – please don’t ever twang at me. But can’t we embrace the truth of that worship? Aren’t most worship and/or Christian songs written as some sort of tribute to God, inspired by Him?

If the birds and their singing praise and glorify God, can’t I, a lousy sparrow, chirp out a few notes that might please Him as much as the songbird? If that’s my desire – to please Him.

After all Jesus said the very rocks would cry out if the worshippers were silenced. I don’t expect this to change anyone’s heart, open anyone’s mind. But I expect this discovery to maybe chip away at the pieces of barrenness in my own life. How about you? Harboring any barrenness?


Kristi Herbranson said...

Sometimes I think my barrenness comes not from a disgust at the worship of others, but more at the disgust that my own heart is not experiencing the same freedom. I feel envious, and therefore I cheapen and even "scowl" at the genuineness and truth of their worship. I wish I had it, and since I feel unable to obtain it, I try to label it as childish or foolish. For me this comes not in the expression of worship through singing, but more through the words I hear others say in thorough excitement about God. I cast them off as being temporarily "on fire" and not as being genuinely free. I assume the hurts of life will soon dwindle their flames as they have mine.

I'm barren, therefore I'm jealous.

Kelly Klepfer said...

Ewww. Another unpleasant twist.

Suppose there are many ways to be barren and only one sure way to be free and fruitful?

Uh...Yeah...I think so.

Without the Holy Spirit in control of my actions -- all I can produce is barreness.