Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Show Up, Be Honest...Leave the Outcome to God

It had been a hard morning. I didn't feel very prepared to interpret. I had mixed feelings about handing part of my share of the interpreting to my mentor - in the form of a song. And, I was tired... very tired.

I got to rehearsal. Usual deal - I'm plugged into my ipod, practicing on the stage, while the band is getting set up. But, it was different. It felt different. I felt different.

I flipped through the music. One song was new to me. I copied the lyric sheet from the back up vocalist, and headed to the foot of the cross. I figured if there was any place to try to work it out, it was there.

I'd heard the chorus and a couple of the verses before, but never the second verse. I wasn't very familiar with the song, or the style of the substitute worship leader. It wasn't a song that "grabbed" me. By the time my mentor was there, I was willing to hand that song to her.

Anyone who has seen me interpret - and is able to see my feet - knows that I interpret in stocking feet. I love feeling the reverberations of the electric bass and the drums coming through the floor of the stage. It helps me "feel" the music. Helps the music get into my body.

I also love being at rehearsal, because I love feeling the presence of God up there. I love the fact that I can usually get through the emotions of the songs at rehearsal, and be dry-eyed during the service. (usually)

But... it was different. During the rehearsal, the vibrations in the stage were making my legs ache. Mid-thigh, both sides.... an ache to the bone. Much of the rehearsal I spent on the floor next to the stage.

It was different as well in the fact that my heart wasn't in it - whether it was tired, or uncertainty, or the non-stop aching, I don't know. Whenever there was an opportunity - between songs, during the instrumental portions, I'd look to the air vents and sign - "Help me feel You". "All-of-me need feel You". Later, at the foot of the cross, I'd sign "Help deaden the vibrations in my feet, open my heart, take me out and You come in..."

When my mentor arrived, I complained and complained.... begged for Motrin and signed "really, really need God help-me today". "He will" she signed back.

All that to say - it was a rough morning. Time for worship to begin. Music starts. First few songs, announcements, prayer. One more song, then we swap. "you next" I sign. My mentor nodded. The song ends, and goes directly into the next song. No time to swap interpreters. OK, so I guess this is my song too.... Fortunately, I knew the chorus, and it wasn't a fast song... and she could "feed" me the words I didn't know and couldn't hear.

Then, we switch places. My turn to sit and her turn to interpret. She'd start the sermon, and I'd pick it up with about 15 minutes to go, and close it out.

The pastor, now apparently used to us in training-mode, said "Now would be a good point to switch out..." She looked at me and signed "trade". During that time, the pastor had gone on to say we'd be going through lots and lots of scripture. Uh-ho... that meant lots of chapters and verses and numbers to keep straight - not to mention the content itself. We both froze for a minute.

"Scared" I signed. "me too" she signed back. "try..." I signed "You help me". As we traded places, she signed back "I don't know if I CAN help you".

There I stood - the most awful morning ever. Standing there, honest in my fear and in my total need for God-help-me. And I listened.... and I let my hands talk....about imputed righteousness, of all things.... I can't, He can.

Recalling that morning, I thought of a phrase my friend Karen had told me: "Show up, be honest and leave the outcome to God".

Amen and Amen.

1 comment:

Katie said...

I know I already said this but you did great. Just being willing and available is what HE wants.

You should shoot your pastor next time!!