Thursday, October 23, 2008

Musings – Some Insights from Catalyst 2008– part 2

This week’s Catalyst insight comes not from one of the speakers, but rather from an experience I had on Friday morning while there. My pastor brought it to mind when he talked about meaningful touch in his message last week.

It was Friday morning, and the worship leadership was doing something deeper than just the “get everybody hyped up on adrenaline” fare that sometimes misses for me. I can’t remember exactly what the songs were, but I do remember thinking, “This is different … this is deeper … this is feeding my soul rather than just ramping up my blood pressure.”

Because I was a little later getting in, I was sitting on the very end of one of the rows in our group block. Between me and the aisle there was a trio of guys who were not from our group, and they spent most of the worship time mostly having their own conversation … one guy was playing a game on his Blackberry and the other was asking him about it … that kind of stuff. It was more than just a little bit distracting. I remember thinking that they were missing out, and that they were irritating me, and “who do they think they are?” and … well … nothing really bad, just not so good things about these strangers. They were on OUR row, for crying out loud … and why did they have to act that way? Then I found out that they were from Michigan, of all places. Now when you have served a church that was in the shadow of Ohio State University, the last thing that’s going to change your mind about the annoying people next to you is to find out that they are from Michigan.

There came a time in the morning when we were led not just to hear about some of the issues that we face in the world today, but to group together to pray together about them. We stood to circle up in groups. There was one woman in front of us, me, and these three Michiganders. Holding hands with strangers has never been high on my list, but I’m a team player, so I held out my hand to her and she took it. I was preparing to do the same to the guy next to me when I felt this big, strong arm around my shoulders, pulling me in. It was my annoying Michigan neighbor. The oddest thing happened as we prayed together in the “buddy” position. My entire demeanor toward him – and toward the other guys with him – changed. My negative thoughts passed peacefully into oblivion; and as we prayed together, my heart recognized him as my brother in Christ. Two things were responsible for that: praying together, and the meaningful touch.

That's enough to think about for now. The peace of Christ to you.


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