Wailing Into Dancing
An odd thing happened to me yesterday just as I got up to preach. I got so tickled I couldn’t speak. Could barely squeak out a few words.
Children of Highland have been telling the stories each week that I’m preaching on in this series called “Storybook Lives.” Some are brief; some verbose. Some serious; some more playful. All have been wonderful.
The six year old who told the story yesterday was energetic, creative, and breathless. And, without meaning to be, she was just really funny.
I’d watched the video a couple times, but for some reason it just sent me over the edge when I watched it in worship. And I couldn’t recover. I desperately looked for someone down front to come up and pray for me since I was afraid that if I prayed I’d be giggling and guffawing all the way through. It was hard to find someone capable of doing so. The laughter bug was infectuous. I glanced down at Bob A., one of my elders. No way. His shoulders were bouncing and tears were rolling down his face. I kept scanning and found Bob S., who came up shaking his head and said to me under his breath, “I’m not sure this is going to go any better.” But it did, as he asked God to pour through me the gift of preaching.
Someone told me this was the second time she’d see me incapable of even speaking. The first time was a few years ago when I took the jogging stroller that I’d pushed Megan in thousands of miles as an illustration. But the moment I touched it, I fell apart. It caught me by surprise. It was years after my daughter’s death and I had known what I was going to say. But when I touched the stroller in the context of worship, I had a meltdown.
There were tears again yesterday. But this time they were tears of laughter.
Ironically, our call to worship yesterday was Psalm 30: “Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. . . . You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.”
At least for that one day, it was certainly true!