I have felt fragile for far too long. My eyes sting. I inwardly threaten myself. My throat feels the way it always does when I am prepared to cry. I do not want to cry here.
Each week that I choose to attend church, it's more of the same. Music lifts the veil and suddenly my heart is pierced. The things I have wanted to pray, scream, beg of God roar to the surface as the lyrics splay across the screen.
But I do not want to cry here.
Yes, Lord, "heal my heart and make it clean. Open up my eyes to the things unseen. Show me how to love like You have loved me."
But can we save this moment for another time? I feel raw enough. I don't want to draw any attention and I don't need to cry here.
I marvel that, "no sky contains, no doubt restrains, all You are, the greatness of our God. I spend my life to know, and I'm far from close, to all you are the greatness of our God." I am undone at His vastness and my smallness.
Then the message begins and I find myself turning to familiar passages and viewing them in a whole new light. I am ashamed of my pride in believing I know the Bible so well before those moments. It is readily apparent that I have much to learn. Humility, being humbled by these teachings and stunned by His grace, this too lifts the veil.
Song after song, week after week, worship leads me to confession. This confession stretches me, not just in admitting to God who I am, where I've been, and how I want to be open to His hand. It's more than that and I know why.
Some weeks I weigh whether or not I want to almost cry in church. This means that for every 2 or 3 weeks that I go, there's one or two weeks I stay home. I'm not always ready to be that vulnerable.
Really, I'm not ready to show my weakness in the midst of my weakness.
No ribbon-wrapped present of the lesson I've learned but the messy business of doing life where there are no answers .There is no mask to wear unless I choose to put it on.
Then, surprising myself, tears fall. Relief in this communion with Him. The people fade away. With kleenex in hand, I am made new.
This post was written for the Remarkable Faith link-up at Giving Up on Perfect, a series of memories and posts as we approach Lent.
Have you ever felt like crying in church? What is your typical response to worship?