The Human Side of a Miraculous Day
BY EMILY SUTHERLAND, WORSHIP ARTS VOLUNTEER
My family recently had a landmark weekend at Grace. During the last spontaneous baptism Sunday, I was so grateful to sing on the worship team while my son played guitar. Meanwhile, a few feet away, my sister (Melody) and my husband (Scott) were baptizing changed life after changed life. It was glorious.
After a day like that, I decided to pull back the curtain a little on the humanity that was also part of the whole experience, to appreciate the stark contrast between our perfect God and our messed-up selves.
The night before was one of those nights when I went to bed tired but, after sleeping for about an hour, I was suddenly wide awake for the next five hours. Finally, I was able to get about two hours of sleep. When my alarm sounded, I got ready quickly, grabbed a cup of tea and a granola bar, and ran to the car. You need to know that I get unbelievably clumsy when I’m tired. I dropped everything I touched and spilled tea the whole way to the church. Most of the car ride was spent on dark circle cover-up. Jackson drove as smoothly as he could, but somehow as we pulled into Grace’s parking lot my mascara wand hit my contact lens. A thick blob temporarily rendered me legally blind in my right eye. I dabbed the contact with each of my fingers until I could see (mostly), but then I had little round mini-globs of mascara on each finger.
The rest of the morning went just like that.
Four minutes before service started, the pack for my in-ear monitors fell into the toilet. Our tech team angels (they really are angels) produced another one miraculously. In one minute and 45 seconds, I reset all the levels blindly without a clue what I was going to hear in my ears when the music started.
After the first service, my husband’s first words were, “I heard your pack fell in the toilet!” Then, he immediately noticed something on my sweater. When I saw the crusted substance, I knew right away it was queso sauce from dinner the night before. So the spill on the front of my sweater had been there all day and had been magnified by a hundred on the overhead screen.
When my humanity is blaring like this, my shoulder people like to stop by and remind me of all the reasons why I am the worst. (I talk about the shoulder people in this post.) They start with how I don’t have my act together, then move to the whole subject of how I don’t have the caliber of voice to be singing about Jesus in public, eventually convincing me that secret meetings have likely taken place trying to get me removed from the vocal team but no one knows how to tell me.
This, my friends, is the work of the enemy. He loves turning mascara blobs, queso, and toilet water into personal and spiritual defeat. And it wasn’t just me he was trying to mess with.
One seemingly confident and adored man among us this weekend caught a glimpse of himself on the screens during a run-through and froze, devastated by signs of aging staring back at him. No one else would’ve thought a thing about that, and this is a person you wouldn’t expect to have insecurities. But guess what: He is human too. My husband was even riddled with anxiety on Monday.
Worshipping alongside my son, while sweet that day, came after thousands of prayers and decades of doing the hard work of parenting that didn’t feel all that precious at times.
Our speaker that Sunday is my dear friend, who called crying on Tuesday after she had given a powerful message about how much God loves us – mess and all. She had been awake since 2:00 a.m., completely overwhelmed by insecurities and hurts that momentarily hijacked the beautiful, strong person she is.
Just know that whenever God is moving, the Enemy of our souls will try to undermine, lie and rob our joy. This is why we need a healthy body of believers around us. We need to uphold each other in prayer and remind each other that our enemy just can’t stand knowing that Jesus won the day.
God uses very human people to do His work. He does powerful things through people who experience fear, insecurity, sleepless nights… He even uses goofballs with shoulder people that lose stuff in the toilet, proving once again that He can do ANYTHING.
But in spite of all the humanity sloshing around in our church on that Sunday, Jesus still won the day! We can stake our lives on that.
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No truer words ever spoken. I hate those sleepless nights more than anything. We need to share - be authentic - with our insecurities. We all have them. Acknowledge the fear, then release it. God is with us always. Thanks Emily for your truth spoken here. (ps The Production Team rocks at Grace! yeah, I'm biased).
Posted by Jeannine Fortier on March 31, 2016 @ 8:40 am
God will use us, with our insecurities and all our flaws.And we all need a healthy body of believers around us; like Grace Church. Where we can uphold each other in prayer, and remind each other that the enemy just canâ€™t stand knowing that Jesus won the day.
Posted by William on March 30, 2016 @ 4:55 pm
Loved this! I know we all battle with insecurities, but it's refreshing to have someone be honest about theirs. I found myself sighing and thinking, "Oh, you too? I'm not the only one!" Thank you for your vulnerability and the reminder we need to speak truth against all the lies- both to ourselves and into the lives of those around us!
Posted by Liz B. on March 30, 2016 @ 2:54 pm