Audience of one

I am a worshiper. I cannot help myself. I get caught up in singing songs to God. I know that in today’s world it must seem kinda weird if you are looking from the outside, but to me, it is weird to try to escape life any other way. Alcohol may allow you to forget for a while, but sooner or later you come crashing back down to reality. It is the same with drugs, only with the added benefit of destroying your relationships more quickly. Pouring yourself into work only delivers more anxiety, not more peace. Activities, even good ones, usually raise the hectic pace of life. Building healthy relationships takes work, participating in unhealthy ones sucks your strength. I guess what I am saying is that life is unpredictable, and sometimes a break from it is one of the most balancing things you can do for yourself. For me, worship is a time to forget the smallness daily life and concentrate on the awesomeness of the one who created it. I figure that being lost in the presence of God is about as otherworldly as you can get, and sometimes I need another world.
I haven’t always been a worshiper. I used to just sing. There is a difference in the two. I grew up singing in church. I was in choir from the time I was little. I have never had a solo voice, but I can carry a tune in a choir surrounded by those who know how. I always loved singing with a group because there is a unity in corporate song that you don’t find when you are alone. However, it was alone that I first discovered the connection between my voice and God’s spirit. It was not eloquence of word or purity of sound that joined my heart to his, it was desperation of spirit. My soul cried out to him at a time when I was broken, and he responded with his tangible presence. Once I knew this place of comfort and peace, I was hooked. At first, it was more out of my need than my relationship with him, but over time that changed. Soon it was two way communication that carried me away to the secret place to listen to his heart. The fullness of those intimate worship times made hard times in life more manageable, but also enhanced the good times. Knowing I was never alone brought a great deal of comfort. I found that I had access to God in a way that was so much more than religion or church, but was the personal relationship I had heard about from the time I was a child. I had found the father heart of God, the compassion of Jesus, and the comfort of Holy Spirit…all available to me in a moment if I just close my eyes and lift my voice.
Soon after, words started flowing from my hands, not my mouth. I began to see him in everyday, ordinary places. I found he gives me his words for people in the midst of hardship, maybe because that is where I first discovered this worship. I have since had many other hardships of my own, each one takes me deeper into his presence. The road is not easy in the midst, but his grace is sufficient. More than sufficient.
Last night at our church’s Sunday in the Park event, we worshiped as a choir. The lights shone right into my eyes so that I could only see black beyond them. Thousands of people disappeared. It was just as well, because this was not intended to be a performance…worship is never a performance…it is a heart cry. A spotlight came on and somehow the way the light shown I saw the outline of one person in the darkness beyond the lights. Just one. A silhouette of black with a silver outline. I could not see a face just an outline. The phrase came to me, “an audience of one”…a phrase that is often used to describe worship. We do not perform for a crowd, we simply lift our voices for one…for God alone. Last night it was a reminder that I worship for him alone even in the midst of a crowd of thousands. I can shut out all that is around me and join my heart with his through song. I am a worshiper. I cannot help myself.

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