The Niños

...And The Penny Drops
for the Niños' Christmas book 2012
© Lynn Maudlin, 2012 - all rights reserved

         So I’m sitting on Diana’s sofa and we’re talking about worship and her sensibilities and how they differ from my own. I suspect she’s more finely-tuned than I am, or perhaps I just have a bigger clutch and can shift gears more quickly. But she made an observation about carrying the weight of being a worship leader and how that impacts the body of Christ; she shared how there’s a worship leader she stopped following on Facebook, not because there was anything inappropriate being posted, but because Diana would bring those comments and visuals into the worship setting and it interfered with her ability to enter in.

         I am very differently wired, although perhaps it’s an acquired wiring because of the history of spiritual warfare specifically surrounding the area of worship. I have learned not to indulge a critical spirit (“they’re playing that wrong, they’re out of tune, they’re dragging,” etc.) but rather to engage my will: they cannot stop me from worshipping, so whatever the worship team is doing, I can choose to worship God. And in my spirit, I press in toward the throne room of the Almighty and join with the worship which is continually happening in the Presence of the Lord.

         I shared some of it with Diana and she replied, “Yes, but you’re a worshipper—“ and we got into talking about how much easier it is for her to feel God’s presence when she’s alone, in a quiet place, undistracted. As we continued to talk and I was mulling it over, Diana suggested writing a psalter and what a good legacy that would be and I agreed; there are some Sundays for which no hymns or songs spring forth out of the lectionary.

         All this conversation is going on and in the back of my head, in some part independent of conscious thought, further digestion has been taking place and suddenly I realize that many of my songs which aren’t overtly religious at all are, in fact, worship songs. They are songs from my soul crying out to God, communicating in little, broken ways. And my definition of “worship” got much bigger, at least on the personal scale. I gained a corresponding awareness of ways the enemy tries to block me and discourage me from sitting down to play and sing – because when I sit down and sing those songs, I am entering into a place of pure and personal worship.

         Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD...

The following lyrics are from a song I wrote in the late 1980s after hearing Peter Kreeft speak at a C.S. Lewis workshop in Valyermo and reading his book, Making Sense Out of Suffering. It’s an example of the kind of songs I mean, my epiphany that this, too, is worship.

I’ve never known what to call it—

         Whoa, baby, how I suffered over you,
Lynn Maudlin performing at the
Garden Theater Festival, 1977          When the world came down in pieces
         Falling on my head, falling on my bed,
         Down upon the place we used to lie—

         Whoa, baby, God loves His broken children
         And He redeems us as we let Him—
         Slowly, inch by inch, today another piece,
         As He burrows through the darkness in my soul

                 As a woman in labor labors in pain
                 To bring forth the fruit of her womb
                 I have been wrestling, I call on God’s Name,
                 And I pray that He’ll answer me soon—

         Oh, Father, I don’t mind that I will suffer
         If You’ll give meaning to my pain—
         So burn me with Your fire,
         Cut me with Your love
         Clean out the infection in my soul.

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