The song not sung in vain

October 19, 2009 | By | Add a Comment

I had to wonder what that guy in church today was thinking.  He looked to be in his mid-30’s.  His longish hair was feathered and spiked at the top.  He was wearing dark jeans and sneakers.  No belt.  His multi-colored striped shirt didn’t match itself, nevermind anything else.  A sports watch adorning his left wrist.  His leather trench coat jacket lay splashed across the empty seat next to him.  He had a good deal of acne across his face. He was alone.  In the corner.  We were singing:

Here I am to worship, how I am to bow down, here I am to say that you’re my God.  You’re altogether lovely, altogether worthy, altogether wonderful to me.

I wonder if he had a hard time getting into that song.  I wonder if the words were really moving him.  At one point, I caught him picking his nose.  He didn’t close his eyes when the pastor prayed.  His arms were folded.  He stared off across the room.  I’m not sure if he was fixated on a person or empty space.  He was the first to leave once the service ended.  Where was he going?  Why did he show up in the first place?  Had he found what he was looking for?

Could I blame him for not seeming into it?  No. I could not.  I have the same problem sometimes.  After all, I spent more time focused on him than I did on anything else.  Maybe he couldn’t relate to the words.  And, I started wondering if he felt like the whole thing was one big sham. I wouldn’t have blamed him had he decided to flip off the entire congregation and walk out in the middle of the song. I’m sure that he had more than a few reasons to do just that.

At the same time, I am glad that he was in church.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.  It may not happen immediately, but they will be filled.1  In the meantime, sometimes the best you can do is to sing in faith.  And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.2 Whether or not this man felt it, I believe that God was pleased.


Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”John 20:29

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