all the nations

October 18, 2015

After as many years as I have been on this earth [:-)], with a large chunk of them involved in some sort of worship leading, I am generally quite comfortable with the unfortunate reality that sometimes one is “on” as far as personal worship-feeling goes …and sometimes not so much. Those notes I hit easily yesterday: maybe not quite getting them today. Or maybe this set of songs just isn’t hitting any worship chords [;-)] in my own heart. Or perhaps it is best to sing melody for songs I’d rather harmonize to, in order to help those just learning a new song. Yes,today was just one of those days.
As we neared the end of the song set, we began to sing a Korean one that we had just learned ourselves, as usually we sing in English, with the Korean lyrics on the screen for those who prefer. This one, however, seemed to be a popular worship tune that many in the congregation already knew, judging by the hearty nature of the vocals in the room. Excited to realize this, I shifted into harmony and relaxed, now that my voice was doing something more comfortable for it. Though I was still needing to pay a fair bit of attention to the lyrics, I let my eyes drift out to the faces of the congregation for a moment. That was when I had my “eureka!” moment: my eyes settled on an uplifted face that was emanating the most pure form of joy that I could have imagined. This 80-year-old gentleman, with his eyes closed and his hands raised in the air, was smiling so big he could hardly move his mouth to sing, though he was clearly singing from memory. The beauty of it brought a similar smile to my own face and, suddenly, my heart was in the worship too. For the rest of the set, my less-than-stellar vocals and lack of personal preference for the songs themselves didn’t matter at all. I knew exactly why I was there, what I was doing …and WHO I was doing it for.

*the photo I caught of one of the congregation member’s boys conked out in the pastor’s arms as we lunched together after church seemed somehow fitting to include in this post