Wanna talk about someone stole your seat at church?
Nothing to wear?
Just couldn’t get the kids out the door in time?
Too hot? Too cold?
Service is too long? Too short?
How about walking miles with 5 kids, three of whom are toddler triplets in 90-something degree weather?
That’s who I sat by at church today.
In an open air cafeteria with 300 other people and six fans circulating the outside heat. Plastic chairs (like the ones outside on your back porch) filled the room and those with no chairs spilled out onto the patio, listening and watching through the doorways. Maybe that’s why they aren’t late.
I sat in the back and watched as people came into service, and tried to not make cultural comparisons. But what I saw wasn’t necessarily culturally different, but a difference in desire. I was taken back at how eager people were to be in the house of God. Regardless of their morning, or their clothes, or if they had a Bible or not. Upon entering, everyone went straight to the front, trying to squeeze into any available seat before taking a row behind. A little boy came in, with girls tennis shoes on, christmas socks, pants too short, and a plaid, short sleeved, button down shirt – and so proud about it.
I was almost ashamed of myself, at how little it takes to get shaken up on a Sunday morning if even my hair isn’t looking great, and I was watching a couple hundred people, wearing the best outfit that they own, and so proud that they were able to come before their God and honor him with their best.
I sat with one of the triplets on my lap, falling asleep on my arm, while the mother breast fed the other two. At the same time. In front of everyone.
Now there’s a cultural difference for ya.
(Figured I shouldn’t include a photo… although I thought about it.)
God is moved by sacrifice and He was definitely in the house this morning. Regardless of all other things, this sanctuary of people came to worship their God and He showed up in the midsts of them.
Pastor Sam was so gracious (I had no idea what he was saying, let alone that he was talking about me until one of the other missionaries told me he was addressing me) to welcome me to the service and pray blessing over those who come to Haiti to serve.
He spoke about Jonah and the Whale – after an hour of worship – and every person sat intently in their seats, beads of sweat dripping, hot air stagnating, until the moment he prayed and released. Not that they had big things to do – only get started on their walk home with all their kids in their dress clothes (every man wore slacks and long sleeve dress shirts and every woman wore a dress and panty hose if they had them) and not one family was out the door.
Now that’s honor in God’s house.