I love worshipping in church. Spending time singing praise and glorifying our God as a body is one of the coolest things I get to do each week.
I can’t honestly say I am a fan of every song (or hymn), but those, which really seem to speak to me, whether lyrically or through musical notes, cause me to get lost in the moment and remember I am in the presence of the Creator.
This, in turn, prompts my hands to rise into the air as I symbolically surrender my life to His ultimate desire and plan.
It’s an amazing feeling and beautiful reminder of the relationship I am blessed to have with my Savior.
But, every once and a while, I, and my 10 foot arms, are faced with a predicament in the midst of these moments. And it happened again this last Sunday.
As I felt the desire to lift my hands in praise to the Father, I realized the gentleman beside me was already engaged in the same sentiment…and the chess match in my head began.
I started to think of how it would look and feel to also lift my hands. If I lifted both hands into the air in the comfortable “Y” shape, I would be encroaching this guy’s worship territory. Our arms would probably cross, creating an “X” (which I am pretty sure is against church worship protocol and would cause us to be removed until we could get our acts together). We would have to silently jockey for position and attempt to work out who would be the front and who would be the back arm.
Of course, I might also get so wrapped up in worship and my hand might inadvertently whack him in the head or face. Or, even more awkward, we might touch hands and then have to determine if the other is trying to engage in some sort of co-praising exercise and then have to decide if we should commit and just hold hands or risk causing some sort of unspoken offense by withdrawing.
Then again, I could always go straight up in the air with my hands and keep them solely in my own vertical space, but this position has never been very comfortable for me and I am usually nervous someone on the church maintenance staff is going to hand me a light bulb and ask me to get to work since I can make the change without a ladder.
I could always settle on the one hand up option (if the individual – usually my wife – does not also have his/her hands in the air), but I kind of feel like I am not fully committing to the moment and, therefore, will not be as emotionally and spiritually filled afterward.
This has led me to believe our churches need Dedicated Hand-Lifting Zones.
These sections of the sanctuary will be set aside for those who tend to lift their hands during worship and have wider seats, or possibly just seats set farther apart from each other, to create enough space for comfortable hand lifting without the conflicts I mentioned previously.
Or, maybe we could have certain seats – possibly a different color than the rest or marked with a GIANT “Y” – where individuals like myself can sit and not have to worry because the next “Y” seat would be like 3 spots away on either side. It doesn’t mean the person not sitting in the designated seat can’t lift their hands, it just gives peace of mind to the more consistent hand-lifter there is less likely of a worship predicament in the future.
Now, for those churches still employing the use of the all-too-comfortable wooden pews, you will have a little bit harder time working this out. Don’t worry, though, I’ve got you covered (yep, I am hearing the collective, sarcastic sigh of all of those churches right now).
All you need to do is figure out who the worship “sitters” are. You know the ones. Those are the people who by necessity, or sometimes just because they don’t like being told anything by anyone – least of all a worship leader imploring them to stand. Then, designate a seat for each of them in between the hand-lifters. Same section. Problem solved.
So, now that we have our solutions and there couldn’t possibly be any issues to arise from these suggestions, can someone please work on getting this done?
I really don’t want to hold hands with the guy beside me unless prompted to do so by the worship leader or if we are engaging in some sort of group prayer time.
Thank you in advance!