It is Sunday as I write this. The house is quiet, dogs are at my feet, the Gardener is napping, the sun is slowly moving behind the trees, the evening song is being sung by every robin and blue bird around the meadow. It is a tarrying moment, and I am in it.
I had the privilege of experiencing a few of those in worship during our recent women’s conference. Those moments where we corporately don’t push through the agenda, but we wait. We hang out on a chorus, or a line or a phrase…and we sing it until we mean it. It is balm to the soul of those whose spontaneous worship to God is a love language of prayer, and it is chaos to those who need definitive parameters, structure, and organization. To one the tarrying, the waiting, the “pause” is a Hallelujah, to another it is Anathema.
Which is right? I began to dig into the meaning of standing before the Lord to minister to him, or wait on him. In Hebrew the word for tarry, or stand, is “amad” it means :
A primitive root; to stand, in various relations (literally and figuratively, intransitively and transitively): – abide (behind), appoint, arise, cease, confirm, continue, dwell, be employed, endure, establish, leave, make, ordain, be [over], place, (be) present (self), raise up, remain, repair, + serve, set (forth, over, -tle, up), (make to, make to be at a, with-) stand (by, fast, firm, still, up), (be at a) stay (up), tarry.
I wonder if sometimes we get so caught up in our “ministry” to others….we forget the first priority is to minister to the Lord. To wait upon him, for him, with him…to be present in our songs, and words and prayers. To show up full hearted longing to just be with him. In the Old Testament, this was done in open context. Not behind closed doors, shut away and hidden from view. It was PDA . (Public Display of Affection). Something we are not comfortable with, in any context, especially church.
Yet, when you look around at creation, and you see the work of HIS hands, it is all PDA. The birds, the bees, the animals, the sun, the moon the stars… all loving Him openly without shame according to their creation. The racket in the trees this evening was pure delight. Why then does it become such an issue of discomfort when we sit in the space designed and set aside for the sake of HIS name and love him in patient intentionality? Why does it somehow become wrong to move carefully and gently through prayers, music, scripture, testimony, psalms and spiritual songs? What is the real reason we come together? Why are we doing what we are doing if what we are doing is not about loving HIM?
Will there be separate places of worship in Heaven? I can’t find that. All I see is that all of creation in heaven, on earth, under the earth come into agreement in extravagant lavish love throwing down crowns, singing, falling prostrate, adoring, and refusing to be without him. If Jesus said his desire was that the will of the Kingdom of His Father would be made manifest in the Earth, and it is Heaven’s will to give praise, and adoration to the Son why can’t we agree with Him, and love Him by waiting on him?
One of the scriptures that causes me to ache often, is that of Mat 26:38:
Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
Ahh, but because they fell asleep, and they didn’t stand, tarry, wait, watch, linger, worship, pray, kneel, commune, remain, dwell….with him, I think we have lost something of what it really means when our Savior asks us to wait for/with him. We fell asleep and lost the definition according to passion of our Bridegroom’s heart. Perhaps that is why when he rose, he commanded them to wait, tarry, stand, pray, remain in community together, until the Holy Spirit was given in fire, and power and unction. It would be the Holy Spirit who would teach them how to wait, how to hear. But, the Holy Spirit, the Ruach Ha’Kodesh…yeah…he is unpredictable and undefinable, and unrelenting, he is…unsafe.
So we say he is welcome in our midst, to have his way and sing his song, and love through us, until it becomes uncomfortable and moves us out of what is the standard operating procedure in our sacred spaces dedicated to worship. Then, we call that disorder and chaos and we can not receive or embrace the vessels or their worship and we turn away from the dancing king…perhaps, that is why we have been barren as a church, for so very long.
2Sa 6:20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!
2Sa 6:21 And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD.
2Sa 6:22 And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.
2Sa 6:23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.