"Worship" vs Worship
A funny thing happened at church yesterday.
My wife has been bringing her friend with her to church for the past couple of weeks. As we launch into the 10x10 vision, we're committed to doing our part as God directs. Part of the way we're reaching out is asking an unchurched friend and her son to visit church. And last week, she accepted Christ!
She was so excited to see my wife this week in church they began talking excitedly together. They were buzzing back and forth during the first song and well into the second. There was talk of Jesus love, baptism and even a few tears. It was a powerful moment - I was moved sitting just down from them seeing a life so dramatically and instantly changed.
But I could tell the woman in front of us was going to blow a gasket.
She looked back once or twice with "those eyes." She looked at her husband a minute later and rolled her eyes. She shrugged to her friends. She even kind of scowled back once, I think trying to use ESP to tell the 'bubblygirls' behind her to be quiet. Finally, near the end of the second song, she just had to say something.
"I'm sorry, but can you guys talk to each other later? I'm trying to worship."
During her "worship" she missed the most beautiful expression of worship ever. Angels were dancing in Heaven and she was ticked on earth.
Now, in her defense, my wife's friend IS loud. She does get a bit excited and I'm sure it was distracting. She doesn't know the "rules" of church and even stopped the offering plate later in the service for an extra 4 minutes to write her check. But isn't that all OK?
Sometimes I like Christians more before they know how to act like Christians.
Why am I so worked up about this? Because I've done it before. As my wife and I talked about it after our post-baptism-celebration lunch, she admitted to doing it, too. Busting someone without knowing the whole story. Getting frustrated without knowing the other half. In fact, I now realize I'm doing that to this lady in front of us, right? Is it possible that this was her last Sunday to live and she is living knowing she's terminally ill? Is it possible she brought her jaded son and daughter-in-law to church for the first time after years of trying - and some jerk behind them is being loud and distracting?
Hmm ... not sure where I'm going with this, other than to say maybe we should loosen up a bit in church. Maybe we should empathize with each other a bit more. And maybe our first reaction to a disruption in the service is that God is up to something, instead of someone being distracting.