empowering women on a quest for more

A Joyful Noise

It happens every Sunday when the preacher is winding down and the band makes their way back on stage.  We watch their every move like we’ve never seen someone pick up a guitar before.

It transpired at a meeting I was at last week.  One woman stepped out of the room because she needed to cough but the tiled floors in the hall just amplified what she was trying to hide.  Before I knew it, the voice of the speaker was drowned out by this little lady’s respiratory issues.

It occurs when you are talking to someone then someone else close by starts talking about you…it also happens when you are trying to watch the game but the non-football fan tries to engage you in a conversation about the meaning of life.

Even as I type this, my husband, who is sitting right next to me, got on a conference call for work…and now, I am listening to him and them…#distractedagain

It’s easy to get distracted.  Blame it on A.D.D. or simply human nature.  It happens.

Most of the time, it is pretty harmless.  Sometimes though…it can really get the best of us.

worship

A few months ago, I attended a women’s conference which included a concert and a time of worship.  There was a woman in the row in front of me who stood when the others around her were sitting and raised her arms while they held onto their notepads and Bibles.

But while she expressed her worship, they experienced distraction.

I watched the whole thing play out. Someone behind her asked this particular woman to sit down.  I’m not sure what all was said but immediately, I saw this woman’s countenance change from joyful worship to disheartened spectator.

 

I get it.  I’m the one that gets distracted because of a football game.  I get it. 

Nevertheless, being distracted is one thing.  Making it all about me is another.

As I watched this encounter, I couldn’t help but think of the story in Scripture about a woman whose worship distracted a few folks too.  She broke some cultural boundaries, gave sacrificially and extended herself to demonstrate her gratitude.

Simon, the Pharisee – yes, the religious leader – watched it happen but all he could see was a sinful woman touching a man (Jesus) Who should know better. Simon didn’t vocalize his analysis of the situation but Jesus chose to publicly acknowledge it.  Jesus chose to publicly acknowledge her.

Luke 7:43-47 (MSG) …Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, {Jesus} said, “Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn’t it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.”

Simon saw it as an unfortunate distraction.  Jesus recognized it as exceptional worship.

I can’t judge Simon too hard.  It’s easy to get flustered when the person next to you at church is waving their arms so freely that they have now entered your personal space.  It can throw you off when the person behind you is singing off-key or clapping off-beat.  

Again, we can’t always help being distracted but are we going give in to it? Are we going to force our idea of what worship should look like in that moment on someone else? Someone who possibly has been forgiven of their “many,many sins” or maybe they are simply  “very, very grateful”?  Their praise may look different from ours but maybe it’s because their story is different.

Honestly, it could be distracting but are we going to see it like Simon did…or Jesus?

By the way, remember that woman at the conference who was told to sit down? She moved to the aisle, and continued her worship there.  She didn’t let the distracted person distract her from her worship.

“And I’ve come to pour my praise on Him like oil from Mary’s alabaster box
Don’t be angry if I wash his feet with my tears and dry them with my hair
You weren’t there the night Jesus found me, you did not feel what I felt
When He wrapped his loving arms around me and
You don’t know the cost of the oil, oh, you don’t know the cost of my praise
You don’t know the cost of the oil in my alabaster box.”
{Song: Alabaster Box – written by Janice Sjostrand}

~Anu

*Featured image from www.christianpost.com

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