Church today was under the outdoor tent while the rain came down. I have a new appreciation for tents. I want God to be my tent. To cover over me. To shelter me. Protect me...
I don't understand everything that happens during the service, but there are certain parts that I'm absolutely in love with, and I'll miss them the day I leave this place.
First, as we pray, in the midst of the flood of Creole words, I hear them crying out to their Father. In their language, it's foreign of course and not yet familiar, but then I hear them cry out, "Papa!"
It sends goosebumps down my arms, because in a breath, it doesn't matter where on Earth I stand...instantly I enter into that intimate place. I'm talking to my Papa...and everything is suddenly tender and personal. I'm reminded this isn't about the show, and it's not about me. It's about a relationship.
I hear words poke through...
"You can, God! You can!"
I hear respect in their voices. I hear joy. I hear desperation.
I hear gratefulness. I hear peace. I hear excitement. I hear passion.
The pastor is so excited he can't stand still. He's waving his arms all over. He jumps up and down, then tries to regain his composure....then he can't help it and his voice raises a couple of octaves.
He's screaming. It's like watching the Haitian Francis Chan, and I know he's plugged into the Spirit.
When they sing, they know I can't make the words. They hum an entire stanza. I can participate then. I hum with them.
Then we clap. Boy, do we clap. We clap like there ain't no tomorrow! We clap like we're trying to make it thunder in our beet-red hands. There is no worship band. There's a man on a hand drum. He's playing that little drum so hard his hand might punch right through it.
We got rhythm! A Caribbean Jam!
The voices of the people, that is the melody, that is the music!
We move, too! Do we ever move. We're rockin back and forth from our heels to our toes, the girls are doing that Haitian swing from side to side. Arms are waving.
Prayer is shouted. Literally, shouted! And all at once.
Nobody cares! We all just praise the Lord. We worship. We beg. We plead. We give thanks. We ask.
I am thankful to be in the fellowship of the saints.
We pour out.
And He fills us up again, whatever language we speak!
That is church.