Saturday, January 14, 2012

And so it begins

I wrote in my journal this morning that I wanted to preach the good news to the people in my life of "Christ crucified," and then I realized that I was liar. Because I don't want to. I don't even want to write this. What I really want is to want to. (Pardon my semantics). And so here I am- starting a blog, as I have considered doing for years now. Or at least I am drafting blog #1. If you are reading this, I suppose I have followed through.

Here's a little rewind:

A few months ago, while I was at work, one of the student workers began asking me questions about God and about church. The truth is- I froze. I felt like a fraud with no answers. I felt mentally lazy. Though I had checked out and allowed myself to become numb to my own thoughts and prayers and even the voice of God in my life, I refused to let anyone in on this little secret. I just maintained my cold shoulder towards Him and acted like nothing was going on- I thought I was bored, but it would probably be more appropriate to explain that God was getting bored with me and my empty cries to Him for an opportunity to be alive, involved, serving, and inspiring.

When he responded to my cries- I was empty handed, and the reality hit me quickly. She asked me, "What is the point of worship? What are you doing? Why does everyone raise their hands?"

Like a reel, my brain started skimming, flipping, and swirling through Psalms and jargon- glorify, exalt, praise, honor, respect, hallelujah, Emmanuel, washing over us, The Heart of Worship, bow, face down, on your knees, reaching towards Him. I felt scared as these thoughts passed. Scared that what my answer would be might expose me as the fraud I was, and might even reveal that worship had no purpose except as a routine obedience that did nothing more than make us think we were being sensitive, sweet, yielding, and beautiful- a part of his divine creative nature.

"God, help me here."

And immediately I saw David dancing in the streets like a delinquent. Well, perhaps he looked a bit more like Thom Yorke in my mind, frantically hopping on two feet and flailing his fingers from contorted wrists and bent arms, while his head swayed wherever gravity would pull it- no routine, no structure, no beauty as in ballet, or sweetness as in the curves of a lyrical piece or the curves of our arms as we gently raise them in our charismatic churches and sway from the left to the right foot.

When Michal saw David celebrating before the Lord, she "despised [David] in her heart" and approached him to expose him as a "vulgar fellow." To this, David replied:

"I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes." 2 Samuel 6:22

For me, all of those years of worship resulted in this explanation- that to lead worship was to lead God's people into a state of abandonment and celebration so free that our bodies, our hearts, and our voices would rejoice without limits- without shame- without fear- without insecurity. I wish I were more like David, and that is why I worship, and that is why I am writing this blog. I don't think that is a hard concept to grasp; whether you believe in God or not, all of us seem to recite the same mantras. We all seem to be battling over the truth of who we are inside and what the world will think of us if we expose ourselves- if we become undignified.

I need to write this for me- I'll be honest. But my hope, at the same time, is that whoever reads this would allow me to write it for "you" as well. Whether you are a Christian- or even if you "hate" Christians- please be welcome here. Please be unashamed. Ask a question, and I will ask it too, and we will see where we end up.