Wednesday, August 14, 2013


When I was in high school
I remember being taught the difference between
raising your arms in worship,
like when you're being arrested
or robbed,
or holding your hands face up,
like someone is going to give you something.

Arms raised meant surrender.
And for some reason,
it stuck with me,
that arms raised was the better way to worship...
maybe my 17 year old self
felt like the teacher was emphasizing surrender.
Whatever the reason,
all my life,
whenever I worshiped,
I felt like I wasn't quite doing it right
unless my arms were raised.

Writing this now,
I realize how this sounds.
And what it says about me...
that I want to do things the right way.
The correct way.
And what it says about the Church
and how we teach our youth.

And then,
on our last Sunday
at our church in California,
I felt like God said:
it's time to receive.
Hold up your hands,
palms up,
and let me give to you.
I've seen your surrender
and now it's time to receive.

But isn't being a Christian about surrender?
Aren't we supposed to lose our life?
Don't we have to give up everything?

We surrender, in order to be apprehended by Love.
We lose life, in order to find it.
We give up, in order to receive.

And so,
there are times of giving up
and times of receiving.

And there is no one right or correct way to do either,
with arms raised or palms up,
it is worship,
and freedom.

As I've considered finding a church this week,
I realize
that receiving
what a body of believers
may have to give,
is a gift of mercy.
As we come,
just ourselves
and surrender to a new place,
we are ready to receive.

With palms up,
I lift my hands,
to receive what He has to give.
Life and love and hope and strength and mercy new every morning.

1 comment:

  1. one of the sweetest things is to see my 7 yo turn his hands up in church to receive.