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Sing yourself in

Sunday morning at church I walked into the room with dirty hair. I had stayed in bed too late; my clothes were uncomfortably tight after the holidays. The music had already started; I found a chair and crossed my arms.

I didn’t want to be there, but that’s not really an option for me most Sundays.

I mean – whatever – I did want to be in the building, there were things happening and people there I didn’t want to miss. But I didn’t want to be there. Present. Engaged. I had shown up, done my work, been a help, but I wasn’t looking anyone in the eye.

your grace is enough
your grace is enough

I began to sing along, halfheartedly.

Do I even believe that? I wondered. I’m looking down the barrel of bleak, empty January. The cheer and colored lights and craziness of December are over. Life, as it will, has taken a few unexpected turns. The friends and family we warmly welcomed home have traveled back. I feel tired and uncertain. And fat.

your grace is enough for me

I am moving my mouth and the thought wanders in: I am singing it so I will believe it. My throat is rusty.

A few moments later, Russell steps up to the microphone and says, loudly:

On your feet now—applaud God!

It takes me a minute to realize he’s reading – proclaiming – a psalm to us. It wouldn’t be unusual for him to just be telling us to come on, get up. But this is Psalm 100, and he goes on:

Bring a gift of laughter,
sing yourselves into his presence.

Yes, that’s it, I realize. I can do that. I can sing myself into his presence. I can bring a gift of laughter. Or at least consider that laughter could be a gift, and think about possibly laughing at some point today.

The phrase ‘fake it til you make it’ has long been distasteful to me; common enough and an understandable sentiment, but words are particular to me and these reek of religion, not faith, and it is hard enough for me to keep the two separate.

But this I can do. Why should it be any different? Faith, like writing, or love, or cooking, or life, is full of mystery and wonder, not given to simple equations. And yet, just as I would practice any part of my life that I want to be fuller, richer, better, I can practice my faith. In all the places that I don’t want to be, in the middle of the mess of it all. When there is cheer and warmth, or when I’m rusty, tired, dirty, fat.

I can show up, and I can sing. And his grace will be enough even for me.

5 Comments

  1. So. Very. Lovely. Just like you, Sarabeth.

  2. Thanks y’all. I am trying to get back into the swing of writing regularly… 🙂 y’all are helping, for sure.

  3. Oh friend. Yes to this. Love. Love. Love.

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