Sundays are my reset button. After a crazed week of work and life, I look forward to some time to re-connect spiritually, hear a great message and point my internal compass back to true north. I attend a big church (which honestly freaked me out for about the first month due to the sheer size), and the service starts with a few songs by an amazing band, accompanied by the congregation singing along. There are so many people, it doesn’t really matter if you aren’t a great singer, because usually your voice just blends in and ends up sounding great. It’s kind of like a holy version of auto-tune.
Last weekend, I scooched to the middle of the row, leaving seats around me to be filled as the crowds settle in closer to eleven. I keep hoping that a very handsome, late forty something single man will be drawn exactly to the seat next to me by divine intervention, but that hasn’t happened…yet. No, instead I usually end up sitting next to touchy feely couples (um, really God? It’s a bit annoying trying to feel positive about my single status with Mr. and Mrs. Groper to my right!) or occasionally a very adorable baby. I always end up getting distracted by the baby’s gurgly cuteness and missing the message completely. But this time I experienced an entirely different distraction.
The so-not-my-type gentleman who ended up sitting next to me rose to sing, and SING he did! People from three rows away turned to see who was free-styling the words to Amazing Grace. I was waiting to see if he was going to bust out the jazz hands to complete his show. I couldn’t make eye contact with him as I was embarrassed and afraid I would get a terrible case of the giggles. He wasn’t completely pitchy, other than the few times he tried to hit the Christina Aguilera range. He was just LOUD. I compensated by whispering, then just mouthing the words he was belting out, and eventually I stopped singing all together.
After the initial shock, I was somewhat amused and then a bit disappointed in myself. If he felt moved to belt out worship music like it was a Glee show tune, then who was I to discourage him? People have different levels of how they connect with God and this was clearly his thing. It is so not mine, but maybe when I “mmmm” and nod along to the message, he is thinking, “What is wrong with that girl? Why is she making cow noises in the middle of a sermon?” To each his own. In the words of Minister Henry Giles, “A song will outlive all sermons in the memory.” Well, at least this one will.