From the back of the room (a different perspective)
Yesterday I went to church with my family, the 5 of us plus my parents. We were running a bit late so got there just minutes before mass began. I told my family for the umpteenth time, “I want to be ON TIME to get a decent seat”!
Normally we head to the front right of our large church usually at my urging so we can feel more “connected” be closer to the priest, perhaps in my mind that will get me closer to God. Ironically on this day It ended up being me that made us late. I grabbed my glasses to put in my purse then laid them down to grab jacket, then out of the blue they were gone, it took me 10 minutes to find them laying on the floor right in front of me, because I am so blind without them. So I got in the car for the first time with everyone waiting for me!
Yesterday there was literally “no room at the Inn”, so we found a few seats in the second to the last row in back of the church and we split up.
I was concerned I wouldn’t have the same experience but sat next to my 12 year old and tried to relax. The first thing I noticed as we were sitting directly behind the band/choir was the immense energy and as I looked from singer, to guitarist, to drummer, to pianist to violinist I witnessed the holy spirit take root as they shared their gifts with all playing, singing, clapping and dancing, true beauty! The next thing I noticed was a rustling under my feet which turned out to be a Medical assistance Dog in training to help with a disabled child. The man training the dog was very friendly and handed me his card as he understood my son was a Juvenile Diabetic and this organization trains dogs to help monitor blood sugars. (god wink)
As we were enjoying the beautiful music I looked to my left and there was a beautiful and graceful Mom with her hands moving in the air and I realized she was “signing” all the music for her grandchild. I was starting to feel a well of emotion as I felt lifted by the beauty of the music and a community of stewards there to participate so graciously in the mass.
The last thing I saw was just off to the right, the cutest couple I have ever seen. The woman had to be 90 years old and she was sitting next to her Husband who was leaning on his cane next to his oxygen tank. The woman had brought in a tambourine from home and stood several rows behind the band and clapped her tambourine and sang with such exuberance. The woman’s proud husband stood next to her tapping his cane up and down on the floor to the beat of her tambourine. That was the final straw for me, both my 12 year old and I had tears in our eyes as we watched from behind these beautiful happy souls giving of themselves so freely. What had I been missing as I marched to the front of the church each week to get “Close to God”? A whole community that is GOD. It was a powerful lesson for me as a Mother as well. Instead of dragging my son to the front of the church to hear better, see better and do better, he now witnessed with his Mom that we don’t have to be first in line, closest to the pin, best seats in the house, the true beauty in life can come from an observance from the back of the bus and participating in the Grace by which God leads us each day. When we allow ourselves to be led and experience grace there is such beauty in everyday life.
There is a mystery in losing your glasses right in front of you and being 10 minutes late so you are forced to experience another perspective. In todays world where everything seems to be about getting to the front of the line, lets as Mothers help our children experience the grace of God’s daily life lessons, sometimes from the back of the room.