Originally published Friday, 20 November 2015.
He was spinning slowly with a gigantic smile.
He was raising his fists, tightly pressed towards his stomach with pointing motions to the sky.
He was leaning in and jumping up.
Doing all kinds of crazy stuff.
"Why does he have to distract so many?
Is he making a show for himself or a show of God's honor?
Is this kind of worship worthwhile?"
Completely distracted from God, my eyes were wallpapered. But, the more I looked, the more his background shined, just like the raindrop tattoo below his left eye. The more I looked, the more hardship, gangs, and possibly prison sentences were likely. The more I looked, the more I saw the real joy of absolute freedom, applicable grace and abundant peace written on his face of admiration and adoration.
I saw all of this. And then I saw him start to spin circles, eyes wide open, with me standing right behind him. The smile wouldn't stop.
You couldn't miss this one, so I didn't. I watched even more.
And what I eventually noticed was this: for this man, it didn't seem to be about showing off, or grabbing attention, but simply about celebrating his now set-free love with his full being, his entire body, all his emotions because one, far greater than himself, saved him. He appeared to be almost in the very throne room of Christ, simply enjoying the lavish love of his Savior.
Perhaps, he relished in the free love that was always so hard to obtain? Or, moved into acceptance that might have always run the other way? Or, basked in the light that always eluded him, crying "Amazing Grace" from a heart that lived anything but amazing, and much more close to agonizing, up until this point?
Perhaps this man really got the point of worship.
Worship is the satiating wellspring of what never had a chance to spring up before Christ.
It is the power of a Savior to save you again in your moment of need.
It is celebrating the light of day,
despite the dark of night you lived because of your crime-laden past.
Does my heart move in tandem with Jesus' in reckless, all-out, arms-open, heart-heeded abandon?
I don't have to spin wild circles and make hand-gestures like a catcher, but the point is, would I or could I? In an outpouring of thanks, in the name of Jesus, could I pour out my heart through worship without worrying and fearing that I was embarrassing myself?
Would I go to those lengths to show him outlandish love?
- To offer an outpouring of my best self and my highest worth, just as the woman washed Jesus' feet in undressed affection: A woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. Mt. 26:7
Others probably thought she was crazy.
- Judas, the one who eventually walked right up to betrayal, shook hands with it and fell to its power, had this to say about the moment: "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages." Jo. 12:5
Why does this worship-dancer have to be so crazy?
Why does he have to draw attention?
Why does he have to make a show?
Maybe the issue is not him - but me. I think I am far too comfortable with being comfortable. I am far too complacent in my complacent worship. I am far too judgy with Christian judgements.
Is this attitude bringing me closer to his heart?
Or is it simply pushing me out of God's ring, to stand on the sidelines with a pointed finger?
Perhaps the things I want to judge are the very things God is using to give me a nudge.
Perhaps the people that I look to mock,
are those that should make me take stock over my spiritual walk.
Perhaps what I resist, is exactly where God wants me to persist.
You see, this man taught me a lesson. By taking a short second-break from analyzing and critiquing, I could see the heart of God revealing and beating.
I remembered how much Jesus loves outlandish outpourings
of everything on to him.
But, how often are we too far consumed with the action's of others that the lessons of God fall on a path of concrete and grow no roots?
This man, he taught me how to give it all over. He taught me how to smile the words, "Worthy is the lamb," and to mean it from every cell of one's soul. He taught me, that the best gifts are the ones that are offered to God through a heart that is only outpouring for him. He taught me, don't judge the ones who are different, because their "different" may be what brings us into "oneness" with God. He taught me to accept what is outside of my God-parameters. He taught me to be a little bit more open to other's interpretive movements of surrendered love.
He taught me that my judgements are cause for greater worship, because they are already forgiven.
So, as they ushered him out of the church aisle, and escorted him out of the church, I said, "Thank you God for this man, you see, what was lost, is now found for him - and he knows it. But, more importantly, he is not afraid to show it. Help me to be like him - not just to know, but to celebrate every cell of goodness stored up in the gift of you. Help me to love you freely and fanatically today."
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