My husband and I sank into the couch this morning, waiting for church to begin. Wearing sweatpants and a flannel robe, and wrapped in my favorite blanket, I was ready to meet with God. I had no complaints about “attending” church by way of live streaming.
It felt comfortable. For a minute, at least. Until we summoned the children.
Soon, my young son came barreling through the living room with the force of a raging bull. My daughter shuffled behind him, arms crossed, face pouting.
Of course he slipped and hit his head, reducing him to a crumpled heap of violent sobs. And of course she found his plight funny, laughing instead of offering empathy.
Ah, just another Sunday morning. Complete with crying and whining and the threat of numerous consequences if the kids didn’t “knock it off.”
So much for comfort.
At that moment, I wished desperately to be able to send them over to the children’s ministry to I could drink in the message in peace.
Though admittedly, I was still content to be participating in church from my milk-stained couch.
Until the singing began.
Sure, I sing in church where my off-key and never-in-tune voice goes undetected in a room full of church-goers who can ACTUALLY sing.
The drowning out of my abysmal singing voice in a crowd of people? That’s comfortable.
But singing worship songs at home—aloud and not just in my head? Subjecting myself and my family to the atrocious sound of my voice in song? No thanks.
The smooth voices of the worship team flowed effortlessly through the screen. But I remained silent.
I looked over at my daughter who was perched at the edge of the couch, still pouting. My son whined for more snacks, though he’d been snacking non-stop for two hours straight. I was frustrated that neither one was engaged in worship. But how could I expect them to be when I wasn’t either?
So I swallowed my pride and sang. Aloud. Along with my husband.
It was uncomfortable. I was embarrassed. It was awkward. I felt ridiculous.
But my son started to dance. And my daughter began singing. And suddenly we were worshipping fully exposed as a family.
Together we sang. Despite the discomfort and frustration.
Our imperfections were magnified. Our egos made vulnerable.
But maybe that’s all God wants. A willingness to be vulnerable and offer ourselves to him even when it’s uncomfortable.
Nothing about this season of life feels comfortable, well, except for the combination of church and pajamas.
Our comfortable routines have been dismantled. Fear is coming at us from every angle. We’re having to let go of freedoms we once felt entitled to. Close quarters have heightened our frustration. Inconveniences abound. Loved ones are sick, many are dying. We are exposed and hyper-aware of how at-risk we all are.
And today I sang worship songs aloud, with nowhere for my voice to hide.
Uncomfortable, yes. But also necessary.
Because as the words about mercy and goodness and grace sputtered out of my mouth I realized how significant they were.
We are navigating a season of discomfort and despair. We are distancing ourselves from others. We aren’t able to leave our homes. We are worried. Afraid. With no idea what tomorrow holds.
But we have today.
And we can still sing. We must still sing.
For we are in the midst of a mighty God who covers us in goodness and mercy no matter how dire our circumstances. No matter how bleak our days on earth.
Our futures are secure no matter how insecure we feel.
And I want to teach my children that those truths are something to sing about.
Even when it’s uncomfortable.