Sunday, February 5, 2012
tell what you know: don't sing, sang
(this clip is super tight.)
yesterday i heard an interview with ruthie foster about her recent collaboration with the blind boys of alabama. she talked about how when you sing with the blind boys, "you don't sing, you sang." she talked about her experience singing in the church and how it was her main event--it's your chance, she said, "to tell what you know."
(watch this whole long video. it's such a beautiful embodiment of community, of walking together with each other & the spirit.)
today is my favorite church day of the month. first sunday (or "sundee" as the elders around here pronounce it), fast sunday, testimony day, the day to tell what you know. our church discourages clapping, singing, speaking in tongues, dancing, and all the fun stuff that some people get to do at their churches (i earnestly pray that this will change some day). so going where the spirit takes you is, well, it can't take you to far out of the bounds of an amen at the end of (never during) a sermon.
so fast sunday is the day to break out a little, to hear from those who might go a little too far out of bounds. but it's their chance to tell what they know, and there's nothing i enjoy more than this in my worship services. (i admit i like it best when someone is willing to say something "inappropriate." maybe something that we all think, but we don't wanna say?)
today a brother told how he felt more confident when he sang between two congregants who are also professional musicians, how he suddenly became a better singer than he actually was. a sister told the stories of the people she shared a surgical waiting room with as she waited for her own mother to emerge from surgery in taiwan. a teen told how her volunteer work at the deaf school always made her day a better one, and three other teens testified that they felt god's love, and knew they were not alone with the scary feelings they were having about their futures.
these are the stories that my brothers and sisters don't tell me in every day life, so i love a day set aside for telling and hearing--for the reminder that, in a congregation, you're not alone. someone is there to hear what you say.
& i am by nature a doubting person, a timid person, so testifying from the pulpit is not really something i can do. but at least i can witness it.
and what i know today is that the telling and hearing of stories, the witnessing of each other's stories, is without a doubt, one of the best ways to observe your sabbath. however, whenever, and with whomever you choose to do it.
if you feel inspired, tell what you know today.
inspiration: telling and hearing, together
looking forward: sunday dinner at bam's
tights: boring charcoal, but i did see at church: windowpane, horizontal striped, floral, tie-dyed, & white eyelet.