Cultures change with times. As I gray, I find that I am beginning to understand the generations old than I am better than ever. I can see their perspectives more clearly than at anytime in my life. Just because we believe something, are we right?
Yesterday, at the end of his talk, a worship leader offered a special blessing. In the blessing, there was a time of silence. Our silence was marked by a young child’s cry. It was clear, audible, and apparently not stoppable. My last comment may be generational. The cry did not get worse with time. One must assume that the caregiver thought it was ok. Whatever his or her thought was, there was no change in the volume or tenor for most of the period of silence.
In my mind, I found myself in church with my parents. I was seven. Church was formal, the building old school. As someone prayed, I had something tickling my throat. I fought hard, trying not to cough. No words were spoken because I knew that God demanded silence. No sound emerged. God and my parents were the last ones I wanted to have angry with me. Proper decorum was part of godliness.
While not advocating total chaos, I found myself embracing the attitude of understanding I experienced. We are invited to come as we are to God. This includes coughs, sputters, and even weaknesses. We are accepted with our baggage. This includes failures, faulty ideals, and even things we rather not admit. We sit with the Spirit at our side – in times of quiet as well as celebrations.
Anytime we are with God is a time to celebrate. All types are included. In one case, “there in his home, he had food set out for a festive meal. It was a night to remember: He and his entire family had put their trust in God; everyone in the house was in on the celebration.” (Acts 16.34) In other cases, we wait in silence to hear God’s voice. I recently heard it in a child.