My family, along with our church, recently participated in an annual song service held by the Atlantic Baptist Association. Each church choir or praise team presented two of their favorite songs as a musical gift to the rest of us. The host church and the association quartet did several specials in between the other groups. Oh, it was glorious! The spirit of God filled up the sanctuary and the hearts of all who were in attendance!
As a lover of good Christian music, my soul was stirred more than once during the service. Typically I am not a raise your hands kind of gal but there are those occasions where I can’t reach them towards heaven high enough. This happened twice on this particular night. For the most part, we were sitting through the service. The first song, one that our church sang, was Days of Elijah. No matter how often I hear this song, I love it as if it was the first time I’d ever heard it. My soul can’t help but glorify God with hands held high and eyes lifted up in prayer. Most often I don’t even sing when my spirit is touched in such a way… I just pray through the song; a one on one communion with God. I’m not sure how far into the song we had gotten but I was sitting in my pew praying and it just never seems right to raise your hands while sitting so I stood up! At the end of the song I realized many others were standing and that automatically made me self-conscience. It probably wouldn’t have at any other time but someone looked at me and said something about me starting something. It was meant kindly and in good spirits but I have this thing about worrying over what other folks think. Silly, I know, but a reality nonetheless!
The only African American church participating in the song service was the last to sing for the night. Did I mention before that I absolutely LOVE old, soulful spirituals and hymns?! Oh, my word, what depths they reach when I hear them! Do they reach your inner most being like they do mine? They give me glory bumps for sure! I have no clue the name of the song they were singing but I just started praying with it and could feel my spirit say LEAP UP AND PRAISE THE LORD but my head was still too concentrated over the earlier comment that I had “started something.” I did what any self respecting mama would do and I turned to my 12 year old son and said “If you stand up, I will!” He looked at me like I was crazy and said “You first!” I hung my head and prayed for several moments before I couldn’t stand it any longer. I leapt to me feet with a determined “I will not be ashamed!” on my tongue. My eyes were shut and I was praying to my Savior when my son pulled on my shirt sleeve. I looked at him and he said to look around. There wasn’t one person sitting in the place. My son simply said “See, someone just had to do it first because everyone really wants to praise God like that.” My eyes welled up with tears at the insight within this little Man-Boy of mine.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think we have to stand up and raise our hands and do the wave for every single song. As a matter of fact, I think we shouldn’t do it for every song. But, on those occasions when God is speaking to your soul, don’t be afraid to worship Him with all that is within you. Who knows?! You might even free someone else from their own self conscience to worship Him with all that is within them as well!
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