Hope Rising

Monday, November 1, 2010

An Unexpected Lesson

This past weekend, I had what is possibly the most beautiful experience of my life. It was an unplanned, unexpected God-moment. I was in an idyllic mountain town in North Carolina with some girlfriends--a much needed weekend away. We were spending the day exploring the little town--a quiet, unassuming, fairy tale-like town; the kind of town that had existed only in my imagination before that day.

As we came to the end of the main street, we noticed an old church. It was obviously historic, so we took pictures of the outside, and one of us wandered up to the charming wood doors. She motioned us to come, and we all quietly approached the door to see a sign that read something like this: "Church choir practicing, visitors welcome to come in and listen." As we neared the door, we heard the strains of a traditional Sacred chorale piece being rehearsed inside. We filed into the small church, which had wooden floors and pews, and saw that the choir director was sitting at an old pipe organ with the choir members casually standing around him, eyes focused on their sheets of music. He played and directed from the pipe organ, and although they stopped and started (they WERE practicing), the experience was reverent. Beautiful. Sacred. Traditional. Holy.

The lights in the church were cozy, the ceiling was high with wood rafters. The fall weather was cool outside, and the beams of the weak autumn sun filtered softly through the church windows. We didn't speak. We listened. I can't even tell you what the song said, but it was about my Savior. It was about their Savior. Any walls that I had in my mind about traditional church or liturgy came down. I was reminded that sometimes, in our attempt to make church like-able to the masses, we lose the hushed reverence that God deserves.

My heart cannot forget, and my soul is still touched by the simplicity and reverence that I felt there in those quiet moments.

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