Expressive public worship isn’t my thing. I’ve been to churches where members shouted and ran the aisles. I’ve been to churches where members clapped and played tambourines. “That’s just not me,” I’ve told myself more than once.
My public worship is quiet. It looks like a tear rolling down my face and sounds like a whispered, “Thank you, Jesus.”
It still looks and sounds like that, but a quiet moment in the middle of the night added something special to my understanding of worship.
My little boy is especially attached to me. It melts my heart how much he loves me, and he has from the very beginning of life. During one 3 a.m. rock him back to sleep session, my baby reached up and touched my face. His little chubby arm extended straight up from his sleepy body. With eyes closed, his little fingers rested on the curve of my cheek and chin. It would be the first time of many that he did this. In the dark, with eyes closed, I felt like he was saying “I’m glad you’re here.” His reaching up was a way of acknowledging my presence and being even more connected to me. It connected me to him in a new way and I snuggled him even closer.
And in a rush of holy imagination, I wondered if that’s how God responds when we lift our hands in worship. Being the ever-inhibited person that I am, I began to lift my hand in worship privately, in my car or home while listening to worship music. Then I began to try it in corporate worship at church. To me, it’s a way for me to say to my Father, “I’m glad you’re here, I acknowledge your presence, and I want to be ever more connected to you.”