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?