Saturday, July 10, 2004

trip the light fantastic

where to start? it was a really good week, exhausting, but really good. the youth (30 of ours - 5000 others!) were incredible and well behaved, so that made our job much easier. the worship was probably the most amazing that i've ever participated in before.

2 years ago at the last convention god met me there is such a big way, i'll have to blog about that at a different time, but i had a vision, and it's the only the second time i have ever had one and it left me with high expectations and lots of pressure for this week. i attended each time of worship with bated breath, almost challenging god to show up, and that kind of attitude usually backfires.

on wednesday i was getting discouraged and just hoping and praying for a big revelation or moving experience. you see i wasn't raised with any type of a showy god. things were all about the mind, all about the learning. it's only been in the past 5 years that i have even allowed god to 'show up' in my life. i hate to think of all of the times he did before that and i missed it because my mind was so closed.

anyway - that night we had an extended time of prayer and worship, great drama and art exercises and tangible worship tools. i was pretty thrilled by the fact that the 'head office' had stepped out of their comfort zone and allow god to work in a less constructed space.

i know it's not very emergent of me, but i love worship music. chris tomlin was our worship leader for the week and that night all pistons were firing. he played a lot of songs from his new cd, so experiencing them for the first time allowed me to hear them unlike the songs i've sung before. during one of them i had my eyes closed and as i stood there a picture of myself and god dancing came to my mind. i watched it for a couple of minutes, and then it really freaked me out. i was almost embarrassed. the voice in my head kept saying things like, 'how silly, god dancing with me'. 'who do i think i am??' 'i mean really now bobbie, god has much more important things to do than dance with you.'

it was from that moment that things fell flat for me. flat. the songs were just songs, the words were just words. i listened, even sang, but for the rest of the conference it just wasn't the same. i think i was really ashamed. that intimacy seemed just a bit too real for me. i almost thought i had concocted it just so that i would have a special moment to remember. almost.

i enjoyed the rest of the conference, but told myself that this year it was only supposed to be about me facilitating the experience for others. i was okay with that.

then i got home.

waiting for me saturday in my emergingsideways at gmail dot com mailbox was an email from a wonderful, virtual friend. we have never met, we have just bonded online because of our shared experiences. this is what her email to me on wednesday said:

"Bobbie - I was awake really early and in my conversation time with my Beloved I talked about you.

And He said that today He wanted to take you dancing!

I don't know if you know how to or not but just go ahead, abandon yourself to His music and dance your socks off. Oh maybe it is too hot for socks so go in your bare feet. Even better because then you feel the beat in the floor!!!"

i still weep when i re-read it. it was real. she had NO way of knowing that i needed a good dance with my beloved - and neither did i. i actually had kicked off my shoes on that wednesday night, and in the 'vision' i was barefoot. god wasn't more than a shadow, but i could feel him spin me and hold me. the intimacy of it all terrified me. it was so close that it made me ashamed, not sexual mind you, just intimate. like i imagine the daddy/daughter dance at the wedding would be. i never had that before, and this time it was so real that it took my breath away.

coming home to that email confirmed god's care for me in such a deep, intense way. i can hardly even begin to explain it, and my words hardly do it justice.

a woman from vancouver gets a message from god for me, takes the time to pass it on and i am unable to read it until the exact time i needed it. the lyrics to the song chris was singing were written two years ago, by a first time song writer. louie giglio held on to them thinking one day they would be a good fit for him. it's a beautiful song.

indescribable, uncontainable,
you put the stars in the sky and you know them by name.
you are amazing god!
all powerful, unchangeable,
awestruck we fall to our knees and we humbly proclaim
you are amazing god, you are amazing god.
indescribable, uncontainable,
you see the depths of my heart and you love me the same
you are amazing god!

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