Saturday, November 28, 2009

pentecostal silence

You don't have to attend many Midwestern Protestant Evangelical services to recognize we're not exactly people who "color outside the lines". Much of that might be attributed to beautiful tradition and ritual. But much of that might also be attributed to atrophied abilities to worship freely. As much as I love our church's worship, both services; I would confess my "freedom" usually comes in the form of bouncing a bit on my toes when I sing. Maybe even bobbing my head.

When I'm worshiping God by dancing with my daughters, I run around the house, spin in circles in the kitchen, sing LOUD and quiet, and make noises both natural and unnatural. :) When you compare that guy, to the man I often become in a worship service.....you may wonder what sedative I'm on.

So many pressures collide when wanting to worship in Spirit and Truth in a public arena. I admit I'm not as completely released from them as I'd like to be. What would people think? Would they think I'm trying to get attention? WOULD I try to get attention? Would a bar be set that I'd have to then meet again and again every service?

So I end up standing there. Bouncing on my toes. Except, of course, when I've gotten to join the band by playing the jimbe/bongos lately. Totally digging that....and even feel a new type of freedom there.

But I will say this: Alone in silence...in my car sometimes, but better when in nature of some sort - I worship freely. I talk (to myself, to things, to God), I sing, I pray, I make noises, I imagine. I smile open-eyed, in awe of simple things. I'm filled with His Love for others, and for His creation.

I want the man I am when enjoying an afternoon with my daughters, or when walking through a quiet afternoon forest.....to be the man that comes to worship service Sunday morning.

That might take practice. I think a good step may be to attend our Monday morning service as much as possible. We do a prayer service, that is mostly attended by families who will be coming to our food pantry that day. Admittedly, the ethnicity shifts significantly from Sunday morning...and the balance is shifted from those who keep quiet...to those who can't hold back the "AMEN!!" welling up inside.

That...and spending more time purposefully being the man who dances with princesses and shouts Hallelujah in the silence...:)

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