5 Minutes of My Day: Plants in the Air
I love this middle of the week service: a whole hour dedicated to singing and praising the Lord. But today is special. It’s the 4th year after the earthquake. Everyone has come to church, congregating and remembering the events that so drastically affected their lives and their country.
I speak to the congregation, quickly introducing our team. Switching to use a translator, I continue..
“As we all are aware, our group is not from Haiti, we were not here when the earthquake hit. We heard about it on the TV and watched video clips of the aftermath on the news from our homes. But we were not here. We can never know what you went through on that night 4 years ago, who you lost or what you feel now. We can never know how it affected your life or how it changed you as a people, but we can live in this moment here with you. We can worship alongside you in thanksgiving for life. Thank you for allowing us to join in with you tonight, on such a special night. May we sing to the same God, the Living Christ, the one who is unbound by language, skin color, nationalities or other differences. Let’s worship Him together. We’ll always pray for you. Haiti will not perish. Haiti lives on.”
Pastor Josue comes and brings the worship team forward to begin. There’s a special singer tonight, leading us in worship. Pastor Josue tells the congregation that in this worship service, we will thank the Lord for the air we breathe today. We will proclaim that His name is great and He is good. We will rejoice in the futures we have before us, and we will be the change we want to see in this country. I’m in tears listening to his words. We start to sing.
We sing songs in Creole, but we’ve heard them before in English, so the team can sing along. We worship.
After about thirty minutes of prayer, songs and testimony, the entire feel of the service changes. Pastor says, “How long do you want to keep singing?” A child yells “forever!” A middle aged father says, “Thirty minutes.” Pastor agrees, at least thirty more minutes of singing.
The worship leader transitions into upbeat, fast and LOUD songs! We sing simple choruses, “We have no other God like You! We have life in You! We worship You!” over and over and over.
The church is hopping, quite literally. I see the orphanage kids begin dancing in their pews, itching to get out into the aisle. The worship leader calls us to “dance for the King, unashamedly in His name!” Everyone shouts praises to the Lord, dancing and rejoicing in laughter. We are fools for Christ.
The kids break into the aisles and the congregation follows. The younger kids scream “Jezi! Jezi!” The older folks shout out the goodness of Jesus. “We have life in You! The blood of Jesus!”
We sing and sing, our team is laughing, I’m sobbing like a dork. All I can think of is the beauty of this moment. I try to breathe and take in the beauty of the congregation, dancing and praising the name of the Lord on a day that is only 4 years after such a tragic event. I wonder what I would be doing if I was in their position? Would I be a fool for Christ? Unashamedly declaring His sovereignty over all things? Or would I be dwelling in the past, harboring resentment and anger for Him?
Then as the church is dancing laps around the building, I see them hefting the potted plants above their heads in the back of the sanctuary! Eyes wide with laughter and awe, I realize just how much I needed this – to know that our God sees us in every stage of our life. Whether we are struggling to find Him or we are close at His side, He sees us.
He sees us in our moment s of disciplined trust, and when we trust with absolute abandon.
He sees us when the dust is settling in the aftermath of a life tragedy, and when we are joyous with life victory.
He sees us when we weep on His altar, and when we carry the plants in the air in joyful fellowship!
He’s so big. I forget that sometimes.
Some people will say that our praising and joyful dancing was wrong, that we should be reserved in the presence of the Lord. And while that is true in it’s time, there is more to Jesus than that. In my life, I’ve found a Christ that smiles joyfully at this fool.
If Haiti has taught me anything, it’s this: to dance unashamedly in the name of my Lord.
Father, thank You for the night of January 12th, 2014. Thanks for letting us join in on a very special night in Haiti. Thanks for letting me learn what it means to trust You in every situation. Thanks for the plants in the air. I hope our praise was beautiful in Your ear.