the beautiful mess of it all

December 8, 2004

In choir practice tonight I was struck by the certainty that this was what Christ was talking about when He spoke of the kingdom of heaven on earth. He had us–the motley crew of us–in His mind’s eye. Tonight we laughed so hard it hurt, laughing at everything and laughing at nothing in particular, all at once. And I realized why–still–after practicing together 3 times a week lately, we can laugh so heartily. I think it is because I am surrounded by people who are bruised and battered by life, sometimes fighting our way through the day. And yet, knowing all the same, that all is well, that we are saved by grace, that we are loved . . . Beloveds of the only one who really matters when it comes down to it. Somehow, he has plucked us out–chosen–out of the muck so that in all our messiness we can glow. And so tonight, we laughed. We sang, and we laughed. The drummer danced his beat out, somehow beautifully graceful in all his burliness, his wad of gum measuring the time of his drum strokes. Our directors cracked themselves up with their own antics, letting out huge peals of knee-slapping laughter. And I watched, mesmerized by all the beautiful people around me–so much so that I turned at one point after realizing I was being watched; the man next to me, in his muddy work boots and construction clothes, after a moment, asked me, “What’s going on in your head? You’re just . . . just thinkin’ somethin . . . !” I laughed and said, yeah, he had figured me out, I suppose. I was indeed thinking my little brain away–thinking what blessedness is in this sanctuary–what starkly stunning crude reverence we are witness to at this moment. God is smiling down on His creation at this very moment in time, laughing right along with us.

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