I used to make so much fun of my sister. She could cry at the drop of a hat. She wasn’t a crybaby or anything; she was just tender-hearted. Her students were accustomed to brief moments of tears shed, especially when she read aloud a moving story. My favorite book she tried to read without crying was “I’ll Love You Forever”. I won’t go into it, but she was always bawling-nearly sobbing-by the end. Children would stare with mouths open, totally confused by her emotions. Like any good sister, I mocked her and gave her a really hard time. I just didn’t get it, to be honest.
Everything always comes back to you…
Last week, it was Baptist Women’s Day at church. We had an all women choir and ladies shared their testimony. We DID NOT have a woman preacher that day, but the pastor shared a sermon that encouraged women of all ages. I stood in the choir, actually at the side of the choir because there were so many of us. The music began to our first song and I prayed a silent prayer that I would truly worship God the way He deserved, that I wouldn’t just be going through the motions. To be honest, I’m kind of picky about the songs. I’m a Praise and Worship girl. It gets me like no other music. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it stirs my heart so very much. That was partially why I prayed the prayer about worshipping. I didn’t want to focus on whether the songs were hymns or Praise and Worship or ones I would have picked out.
It was a song, by Darlene Zschech, I’d never sung before. I had gotten to practice late and hadn’t had a chance to go over it. I was stumbling through the words at first. “Thank You for the cross, Lord. Thank You for the price You paid. Bearing all my sin and shame, in love You came and gave amazing grace…” and then it hit me so hard I had to close my eyes. The ladies voices together sounded like angels. Tears poured from my eyes. I couldn’t even speak the words. “Thank You for this love, Lord. Thank You for the nail-pierced Hands. Wash me in Your cleansing flow; Now all I know, Your forgiveness and embrace…”
By the chorus, I was having a hard time keeping it together. “Worthy is the Lamb seated on the throne. Crown You now with many crowns, You reign victorious.” And that’s when I saw Madi, four years old, and Audrey, five, out of the corner of my eye. (The little girls had joined the choir, too for the occasion.) They had noticed me crying and were whispering and pointing. I kept looking ahead and singing when I was able, but could still see what they were doing. They tried to tell their Mom, behind me, that I was crying or having a problem. She shushed them. They poked each other and whispered a little louder, moving closer to me every second. They were puzzled and maybe a little worried and continued to stare throughout the beautiful song. I’m not a hand-raiser-yet, but had my hand over my heart. They might have thought I was having a heart attack. I kept whisper-singing and crying, but now I was trying not to get tickled.
“High and lifted up, Jesus, Son of God. The Darling of heaven crucified. Worthy is the Lamb.” Wow! I can still hear the ladies singing. It actually gave me chills just now as I was typing the words. God did answer my prayer that morning. Familiar words I’ve read and heard many times before touched my heart in a way I don’t ever remember. I don’t ever want to forget Jesus sacrifice!
Have you ever gone to church and had so many things going through your mind that you just go through the motions of “church”? You have lists, obligations, frustrations, bills and a boat-load of other things pushing out the main reason you’re there in the first place! The next time you are at church and you feel like you’ve fought a bear to get there, take a deep breath when you take your seat. Ask God to speak to you, clear your mind, and open your ears and heart-no matter what kind of songs are sung, and He will! (Make sure you take your Bible. He will use that as well!)
Act like you believe it, and sing like you mean it. And somewhere, especially if you cry during one of the songs, there will be a Madi or Audrey wondering what in tarnation is going on!
I need to apologize to my sister.