Worship. For a time I associated worship with singing and then later qualified that as singing at camp. Away from the white walls and beige carpet of church, where the music was so loud and free I could shout out the words and hardly any one even heard me. Where I could dance and clap and weep before God in contemplation.
And then I became a Mom. I realized that the luxury of being swept away by emotion and song was simply not part of my life anymore. That kind of worship is reserved for individuals with time. Without responsibility. Who are not pacing the nursery with a teary-eyed little one just cutting teeth. Since my youngest started doing ok in nursery recently, I sometimes get to worship in church. But those golden moments at camp are still out of my reach. When I walk by the lodge and hear guitar and kids and passion overflowing, I sometimes break into tears and attempt to sing along from the volleyball court where we are playing trucks. Oh, I have tried to bring them inside to sing…Now is not the season for that kind of worship. But I am lucky, for voice and music and tears do not necessarily equate worship. And the mothers of small children are forced to find the alternatives. Changing a diaper in the hallway, giving the nursery director a hug, cleaning up the 5 cups of spilled water under your kids seats, making it all work…quietly…in the background. Where there are no raised hands and stomping feet, pretty voices and flights of pure emotional bliss. Worship becomes practical and true. It turns into the money I send overseas, taking my wiggly boys outside so others can sing, cleaning up the sand toys for my husband. And that is alright. The pretty worship will come back in time. When they are taller and quieter and need me less. But I pray that I will remember, in those blissful days of song, that worship is not always in tune and melodious. Sometimes worship is invisible, in the back with the diapers and slivers and grubby trucks. But I find my Lord there as well, you just have to look a littler closer.