I've been leading worship in churches since the early 90's. I like to plan but I like to leave a little room too. You know, for God. For inspiration. For the room and the people in it. But sometimes it's hard to make that room and be sensitive to it. But today was one of those days.
Yesterday while driving out to south Charlotte to pick up my son from a CHOPPED (cooking show) themed sleepover at his buddy's house (such cool friends), the sun was shining and I was just processing the news. The images of airport protests and detained citizens and travelers. Snapshots of displaced Syrians. Mexican wall plans. Banned Muslims. The texts from friends of all different colors voicing fear of traveling for fear that their children would not be allowed back home. I was thinking about our Sunday morning gatherings, our communion table, my friend Cedric's message on embracing those left out in the cold by the church and the song just started. So I sang into into my phone. But only a verse and a half came out.
Then in church this morning listening to Cedric's moving message after leading worship with my friends, the rest of the song just came. So I jotted it in my phone, sitting there in the front room surrounded by a church full of friends. Some I know, some strangers. Some Bible believers and some on-the-fencers. Some gay some straight. Some black, white, brown, young, old, single, married, dating, divorced, separated. The song just poured out and what really could be better inspiration?
I decided it should be in the key of the next song and as we invited people to partake of the communion table, I laid my phone on the keyboard and sang this mostly spontaneous song. One that began in the car yesterday morning and had never been played, rehearsed or worked through. But the moment seemed right and God seemed just a bit thicker there.
I've just got to bow out of the social media debates as fretfully drawn to them I may be. I need to be "practicing for heaven" as we tell our kids and remind myself that heaven is borderless and wall-less. Chock full of Syrians and Mexicans. Welcoming and wider than we can wrap our minds around. And I want to practice well now.
Longer tables not higher fences, friends. God shed His grace on everyone. Every. That's literally all I really know right now.