I cried into a very expensive pillow today.
It wasn’t exactly how my day began. I ran myself ragged, getting up early, to serve others as is always expected of me. I can only blame myself as I have set these expectations.
But my feelings were hurt. I cried, but not for too long. I drew up my strength, and for some reason that made no sense to me I got ready for church.
I gripped my hands tightly together to keep from shaking as I walked in. It didn’t help much. I didn’t want to be there. I really like my church for the most part too. It’s a collection of broken people trying in their brokenness to help other broken people. It’s not perfect. You come across some ministry clichés. It’s not for everyone; fortunately it is for Jesus.
I barely stayed standing the first three worship songs. I’ve learned after years of fighting it that some days my worship is my tears and not my slightly off-key voice. A couple came and sat down next to me, and when the husband tapped my shoulder and asked if the seat was taken I jumped, terrified by an innocent human touch.
I began planning my escape. As I scanned the worship center, looking for a door I knew wouldn’t result in me running into too many people, I saw a beautiful blond angel and I suddenly felt the strength to stay. I rushed to her for a hug and was thrilled she was willing to sit with me.
Her story isn’t mine to share, and I don’t know enough details to do it justice anyway. But what she has shared with me makes her raised arms to Jesus when life pushes her so low simply amazing to me. And as she held my hand when we cried my arms stopped shaking. My breathing slowed to a safe pace and I could hear the words of worship and find words for prayers and remember Whose house I was in.
My sweet friend has no idea she was my angel today. She didn’t even make any effort to save my morning- she was just there at the right time and willing to love.
And I was calm enough to appreciate the seriousness when the sound at the church malfunctioned. Things didn’t just stop. Things continued. Worship didn’t end because the guitars and keyboards stopped making noise- the musicians raised hands and finished the song, and only the removal of the ‘in-ears’ and the rushing to the stage of the most dedicated and amazing sound ‘guy’ imaginable.
The microphone worked off an on throughout the sermon. And our pastor led with jokes and grace. His message was powerful, but what stuck out to me was the continuance and perseverance.
This isn’t to praise the pastor, though he did handle it well. I was dearly encouraged to see that even as every obstacle was throwing a wrench in our plans to honor Him, we were able to worship Him regardless, and grow in His word without whistles and bells.
It was just us, Jesus, and a pastor blessed with a loud voice.
I’m thankful today God sent me an angel rather than allowing me to run away from my fears and unnecessary anxieties. I’m thankful for strength in others that encourages me to be strong, too, even in adverse circumstances. Most of all, I’m thankful for Jesus.