Sunday, October 12, 2008

Worship That He is Pleased With - or Worship in the Bathroom

I went to an institutional ‘church’ service this morning. I’ve felt like I wanted to go all week and kept silent – feeling like the desire would pass. Well it didn’t. Then I found out on Saturday night that a good friend might be there with her new baby (and husband too ;). So this morning I woke up with barely enough time to get there (it was in another town over an hour away) and told Marsh that I wanted to go. After he swallowed his amazement that I actually wanted to go to a service, he kindly got up and within about 20 minutes we were out the door. I asked my daughter, Britt if she wanted to go with us and since we had a chance of seeing our friend she piled into the back.

I had not been in a service since we had left our CLB (church left behind), so this was a big deal for me. I was not sure how I would react. Would I be able to stay? How would the music affect me? Would I cry or get mad? (Britt really did not want to go into the service but knew she could hang out in the coffee shop while we were there.)

As we arrived we met up with the people that I was hoping to see. In fact we got to see many of the people whom we have gotten to know over the years both here and at this church. It was so warm and loving. The hugs and touches were truly healing to me.

As the music began, I let it swirl around me. It felt like I was sitting in a hot tub. It was warm and healing in so many ways. Yes, there were some lyrics that I would have like changed. But really when they came up it was like a leaf fell into the water and with a swish of my hand I could dismiss it and usher it out of the tub. Healing and warm. I liked it.

But here is what this post is all about. See, when we arrived at the building we had been traveling for a bit over an hour and a half. So one of our first stops after all the hugging was to the ladies room. I was sitting in a stall when I heard a voice from the room. Someone was kind of moaning and talking about her asthma medication. As I exited the stall I saw a very large woman standing there holding a knee high nylon sock- minus her shoe. As Britt and I both looked at her she began telling us that her medication had not kicked in enough for her to bend over and put her socks on. She was a bit mentally unstable and not a very "put together" person. Someone to avoid.

As she talked, I (to my shame) paused a second to determine what I would do. But my daughter responded immediately. She got on her knees and began to put the nylon sock over the woman’s swollen foot while talking kindly to her.

Now you need to understand something about Britt. She hates germs. She would NEVER kneel on a public restroom’s floor. On top of that she has this thing about feet. She just doesn’t ever touch anyone’s feet. I can barely get her to massage mine and she loves me. I don’t think she has ever touched another persons’ foot in her life. But here she was on her knees in a public restroom helping a very “unlovely” person put on her nylons.

As I sat in the music service today and they said, “Let us worship God today together,” I heard the words, “As much as you have done for the least of these.”

I realized that I had seen worship this morning. Not in the music minister’s leading, or the band expertly playing or the lady beautifully dancing with the flags or in the upturned faces and hands of those around me but in the humility and love of my daughter in the bathroom. She wasn't in the "worship service" with me. But she had truly worshiped Jesus that day and I know he looked on her act of worship and smiled.

Next time, I don’t want to pause, I want to beat her to it.


Jeannette Altes said...

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.

Cindy said...

Barb what a beautiful story. That certainly is worship that is pleasing to God.

Out Loud said...

it was so good to see you. so good. i have thought about it all day.

SteveS said...

Wonderful. Thanks!
I need to learn this lesson too.

Maria said...


I find it hard to let worship music just wash over me... sometimes I get to thinking what true worship would look like, and it's usually something like what your daughter did this morning. Sadly, I'm usually too in my head to get down on my knees and help the person in front of me! Thanks for the story and the encouragement to go for it.

Erin said...

This is wonderful, Barb. True worship...once in awhile I find myself in a situation like this and think that, for just a moment, I really "get" it. Then it passes and I forget again. I'm hoping I will forget less and less.

Deanna said...

Wow, that's a beautiful truth.
Just look what Grace has done in your family! Love wins again.

Rob Harrison said...

Beautiful post indeed--I linked to you here.

Beautiful comment, too, Erin; I'm with you there. That's the reason, I think, that the Greek word for "truth" means "not forgetting" . . .

Anonymous said...

Hi Barb, yes this was worship.

What I love about your story is that you had this "feeling" to go. God took you an hour and a half out of your way for Britt to help a lady with her sock. In the end it was a holy experience. Listen to those "feelings. God seems to use them a lot to guide us to Him.

Tracy Simmons said...

Barb, this just put me in tears. Thank you so much for this post. It deeply touched my heart.

Anonymous said...

This was beautiful. It touched my heart. Thank you for posting this.

~Amy :)

Sarah said...

Thanks, Barb. There is a lot of "oil" on this. It affected me deeply as I read. And I believe that it was a very sweet fragrance of worship to the Lord, and He really enjoyed its sweetness. (Sorry for all the xianese, or religious-speak, but I'm taking some of these biblical terms back for what they really mean!)

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that if I come over and moan, Britty will rub my feet?????

Love the story...Love Britty too!


John Fincher said...

Thanks so much for this post! I was talking with a friend just yesterday about what worship is really supposed to be! WOW!

But isn't this how we are also supposed to "serve"? That is, to the people that Father puts in front of us?

In my old church, ALL ministry had to be done through the church. They would tell your daughter that she needed to start a bathroom ministry so she could do the work of God. ;-)

Also, don't be ashamed (I hate that word), your daughter was the one who was SUPPOSED to do it.

Grace and Peace to you!