I sit in the office and read... The sound of over 600 children from the school and orphanage is shadowed by the music and shouting that erupts from the church. The afternoon prayer overwhelms me in volume and style. I don't understand it or this expression of faith. The shouting, the continuous repetition and appeal of emotions... Me and my American friend look at each other, without an expression of words while the praying continues. We begin to examine ourselves in silent searching. This marks a week of intense differences in the expression of our spirituality. Corporate prayer and worship is one of most contrasting areas in this new culture. I find it to be an area of great struggle since it is so far outside of how I exhibit these things in my own life. Yet, in the same moment I can also find it to be one of the most beautiful articulations of worship to God. At times, I want to become critical and pious but instead Jesus calls me to look first at my own Westernized expression of faith. What is right? What is true? I feel conflicted but who am I to question or judge another's experience of faith. I want to legitimize my own experience by saying that it's the right way or the best way but it's spiritual pride and ignorance to limit the God of the universe in such a way. I don't understand or know the answer to my internal conflict... but I keep my prayer simple: open my eyes to see your unlimited majesty so that I may join in the song of heaven. Lord, show me the limitations I've put on my own expression of faith. Help us to learn together and to challenge one another in our faith and the loving of our God.
"What do the elders see that make them all fall down? What do the angels see that make them cry holy? ...for we have to know..."