Dec 31, 2007

Yearning for the Holy

I think back to when this desert experience began, although I wasn't aware of being in the desert until I'd been there for .. how long? As amazingly fast as my brain operates, I am at times terribly slow. I think the ache for something else whispered it's presence to my heart when we moved to Austin 7 years ago. It was the loss of something holy in worship. Whether it was the trauma of leaving a place with so many memories of my children's young years, the group of women I had grown to love so deeply during our pursuit of worship dance, or the church where God had done so many things to me, for me, in me, through me that I lost count, my heart lost something when we came here. I attempted to keep keeping on with my worship dance, but it wasn't the same. First came the attacks by an angry, hurting, lonely pastor's wife who seemed to despise the freedom I danced in. Then came a new fellowship where dance was tolerated, but not blessed or protected. Dance, as untrained as I am, has been what makes my heart come alive since I was 2 or before. I was a disco queen for heaven's sake, but when I came to Jesus for the 3rd time since I was 13 it was in a denomination that banned dancing back in the dark ages. It was "of the devil" and I would have to never do that again. I loved Jesus and wanted to please Him so I turned my back on dance. Never to darken the door of another dance hall again. Unknown to my heart, a quarter or more of who I am died that day. Walking around 1/2 dead (ok, the math doesn't add up, but go with me) for the next 10+ years gave God an opportunity to raise me up. He loves working with dead, broken things. He's a little nuts that way and He's not offended that I say that. I asked.

At a worship conference in 1993, God handed me a gold wrapped box with a big red bow on it. I know it was from Him because despite the colors chosen they weren't at all gaudy or tacky. The box contained "DANCE" and He told me He was giving it back. It changed my life and the lives of everyone in our church. We formed a dance team and baby-stepped our way through for the next 6 years. And then we moved.

Dancing in worship was the one place that brought me face to face with God. I'm not kidding. I never feel as close to Him, as touched by Him, as pleasing to Him, as when I dance. It's weird and wonderful. I stopped dancing a year ago. It was like battle every Sunday with no one else out there. No one else understanding. I just didn't want to be that vulnerable or display that depth of intimacy anymore. Especially when I didn't feel backed up, protected, fought for by the leadership. And surprisingly, I was ok with it. All I longed for was His face. To sing a song that would usher me into the Holy of Holies so I could gaze on His heart and know Him. Really, Truly Know Him. Really. We sing so many songs in church these days that aren't worship. God Bless John Wimber for his legacy of Holy worship, but somewhere along the way from that revolution people started writing a whole lot of songs about us. Songs about who we are in Him, how He's changed us, healed us, delivered us. blah blah us us. Nice, true, but not worship.

I long for Worship. I long for a gathering of believers that truly believe the King of Kings is in the building and you can tell because everyone comes early instead of 20 minutes late. You can tell because every song, from the beginning to the end, is to Him. A conversation of Thanks, Adoration, Love and Awe. For Heaven's sake. Jesus died a horrible, painful, humiliating death so that the curtain that separated us from the Holy of Holies was torn in two and we could boldly enter the Holy of Holies where the Creator of Everything sits. It cost Jesus everything to give us that gift and how many Sundays have we frittered away this priceless gift with songs that are easy to sing, with no more than two verses, a good beat, and I give it a "7"?

I long for worship where God is so awed, revered, loved, adored and believed in, that no one can speak and all we do is lay on our faces in absolute wonder that He, so great and so powerful, loves us. He adores us. He gave everything for us.

Maybe someday He'll let me dance again, but I don't care what I do as long as I can have Him.

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