There’s a woman in a pew near the front on the far right in my church every Sunday. I know this because I sit near the back on the far left every Sunday and I can see her from where I sit. The same could be said of her as was said of Jesus in Isaiah, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.” (Is. 53:2)
And yet . . . though elderly and slow in her movements there is an underlying sturdiness to her frailty. She sits alone now, since the death of her son, an old man himself, by all appearances. Still, she is always there, in her place in the pew. That fact alone is a comfort to me. (but then I like consistency, things I can count on)
To look at her, you would not say life has been good to her. Nor would you say life was any easier for her at present, if one could guess at her circumstances from her clothes and outward appearance. But then the music starts and transformation takes place before my eyes. I watch as she wholeheartedly worships with all that she has and all that she is.
She stands when and as long as she can, but often she is sitting during the singing. This however does not deter her participation in any way. Her arms are raised, pumping to the beat emphatically (I can tell that even from behind and far back as I am) On the occasions that I have been up front during the singing, I have had the added bonus of seeing her facial expressions as she joins in the singing. What a privilege to witness her worship! She is more fully engaged seated than most of us who are standing.
Many times I am weary and my heart is hurting. Then the music starts and there she is! She is an inspiration to me, watching her worship lifts my spirit and points me toward God’s perspective on things. Her joy is evident though inexplicable by worldly standards. Her presence and participation encourage me and I suspect others are encouraged as well. God is using her just as she is in this season of her life, to fulfill His good purposes in her and in those who worship with her.
After being particularly uplifted by watching her this past Sunday, waving her arms forcefully to the beat and clapping (nothing frail about her during worship), it came to me. I think she’ll probably be a choir director/worship leader in heaven. She’s already got the job description down. Thank you, dear woman in the pew. I am privileged to worship with you!
“Praise the Lord, O my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.” (Psalm 146:1-2)
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” (Psalm 150:6)
sincerely, Grace Day