Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sitting Down (For the Record)

During worship, I sometimes sit.
You’ve seen me.  But then I disappear when everyone else stands, because now I’m hiding behind the dozens of standing bodies of everybody else worshipping.  I’m still there. But I’m sitting.

When the worship leader says stand,
And he says,
Raise your hands.
Close your eyes.
Praise Him…
Sometimes I’m sitting.
I know there’s freedom in worship and for the record I’m really not trying to be a rebel (If I was, I’d show up with a scowl and come in for the sermon only after the music is done.  Or I wouldn’t come at all.)
But I sit, sometimes.
To be honest, sometimes I’m just exhausted.
As a mother, the Sunday morning church service might be the only 90 minutes in my entire week that I have to sit down unencumbered.  No lie.  The only 90 minutes when no one is tugging on me for a glass of water, or no one needs their shoes tied, or no one needs to be picked up from school or soccer.
90 minutes of rest.
So sometimes, in worship, I rest by sitting.  I still sing, I just do it in the chair.
But sometimes I sit because I need to listen. The auditory perspective of a worshipper is different when I’m sitting down and everyone else is standing.
The music blends with voices and they all flow up and over me. Around me.  I’m cocooned by the music and the standing bodies. I can close my eyes and no one is watching me.  If I’m close enough to the front to see the worship leader, even he can’t see me.  I’m alone but I’m not.
I’m safe below. Beneath the tallest of them I listen to the music surround me and somehow it becomes a physical experience to me in the middle of the sound like that.
And sometimes I sit because I just need to be closer to the earth.
[If my church had kneeling benches, I’d kneel]
I sit sometimes because I feel pushed or pulled to stop standing in the midst of a holy and awesome God.
He is holy and I am not.
He is righteous and I am not.
Sometimes I simply cannot bear to stand in his presence.
So I sit.
And there’s rest.  There is melody.  And there is awe.

All from my seat.

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