I totally had a “moment” at church today. For those of you who know me well, you know that it extremely normal and common for me to get choked up or full-on cry during worship. Something about corporate worship, or singing praise songs with a bunch of other people if you aren’t as familiar with that phrase, just leads me to tears quite often. Certain songs more than others.
Today there was a man sitting directly behind me with Down’s Syndrome. We shook his hand during the greeting time. During the first few songs, he was kind of kicking my chair and trying a little to sing/mutter along with the songs. Then we stood and sang “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin. And let me tell you: the guy behind me KNEW THIS SONG. He started “singing” at the TOP of his lungs–every single word loud and clear. His voice was harsh and grating. It was much more like shouting than it was singing. Many people started turning around to see what the deal was.
But I am telling you: I just LOST it. I started bawling at the beauty of it. My reasons for the sudden rush of tears was complicated…and isn’t it always when a woman bursts into tears!?!? 🙂 I was so blown away by the sincere, authentic and passionate praise coming straight from his heart. His simple mind probably did not process a lot of the sermon, which was pretty intellectual, especially in parts, but he absolutely knew what he was singing: “How great is our God! SING WITH ME! How great is our God! ALL will see how great, HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD!” I was completely overwhelmed. He was truly singing for an audience of One, and he didn’t know (or care?) that some people thought his voice wasn’t good. I can only imagine how much joy our Father was experiencing through this man’s worship, as honest and beautiful as a child. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to sing that song again without thinking of him.
Another thing that kept going through my mind is that this very week we had decided to have a blood test done to check for any genetic abnormalities in our unborn baby. There was a small dot on our baby’s heart during the first ultrasound, and although they don’t think it’s anything significant, they recommended this blood test to confirm and rule out certain possibilities. Although I am an optimist by nature, ever since college I’ve had dreams and daydreams that one of my children will be handicapped in some way. The test this week was particularly checking for Down’s Syndrome. I’ve often wondered what it would be like if any of our children were born less than perfectly healthy. Through Trent’s job, he has seen and told of numerous disabilities and birth defects that can cause a family immense grief, inconvenience and incomparable sacrifice. But I think through this man today, I felt God was reminding me that HE IS IN CONTROL of the health of my child. If my child is born blind, or deaf or with Downs? We will love them just the same and He’ll give me the strength to deal with it. It was abundantly clear to me this morning that God can move in the hearts of those who are not physically perfect in the world’s eyes. In fact, I wonder if our intellect, health and complicated emotions often stand in the way of God’s moving/speaking/leading in our lives? We rely on our own strength to fight through hard times, our own brains to figure out tough situations. This morning, my desire was to find a way to be a little simpler and purer in my own worship–and trust–of our great, GREAT GOD.