I was sitting near the back of the church on a Sunday morning the band was playing a familiar song. I knew all the words, but my mind was wandering off…. I looked up two rows ahead of me to see a woman worshipping in sign language.

Then one row back from her and over to the left I saw a man with his hand in his pockets and he mumble a few words under his breath.  He was hiding his face with a little bit of shame and fear.  He wonders if people know that he hasn’t been to church since he was a child?  He wonders if they’ll judge him?

In the row right in front of me a very young man stood. He didn’t want to worship, he was quite hesitant at first.  It just seemed weird to sing and raise his hands to a God who he wasn’t even sure was real, but all at once his guard came crashing down.  It started when someone stood to share a scripture…then he suddenly began to cry.  He sat down and buried his face in his hands.  Conviction? Forgiveness? Memories? Pain? After a while he stood up and began to sing with his hands raised high and tears streaming down his face.  As if to say “I surrender.”

Near the front of the church a man yelped and carried on.  He jumped up and down as his “I ❤ Jesus” hat fell off.

In a back corner a widow sits all alone.  She is praising God although she is so deeply sad.  Three rows in front of me a man sat, he gave a stern frown as if to try to bring others down.

A girl sat a few chairs down who had done it all before, she sang real loud, clapped on beat, fake smiled real well, raised her hands and sang the words with no affection or passion at all.

On the far side of the church two old lady’s sang and gossiped back and forth.  “The music is too loud, I just don’t feel God’s near, I wish they would just take my advice on the lights, did you see how short that young girls skirt is?”  Those are just a few things they say.  Going back and forth not even taking time to remember why they’re there.  The perfectionists ran,  the lights must be right and the sound must be perfect.

Behind me a boy who was mentally handicapped sang, with all of his heart he sang, an honest cry for help and whole-hearted praise he sang.

All while I sat in the back of the church on a Sunday morning.  I can’t help but ask myself who am I?