Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hallelujah, Anyhow!

You know how different denominations of churches have different behaviors and words that are particular to themselves?  I'm not saying one is better than another just noting that there are some differences in that some are quiet and simple and others are more vocal and physically active in their worship services.  I'm thinking about the hands raised to welcome in the Spirit of the Lord, the swaying back and forth, and fervent audible 'Amens' spoken in agreement with points of the sermon in what's typically thought of as a 'Black Church.'  Anyway, that's the observation of a simple white girl...

My church is much more on the quiet and simple side of the spectrum.  The main worship meeting consists of a couple of hymns, a communion service where the sacrament is passed to the congregation, and a speaker or two drawn from the congregation.  Once a month, the pulpit is opened up for anyone who feels the urging of the Spirit to share a brief testimony.

And, in my congregation, each month there is one particular woman who does so.  It's obvious her background has been in a more vociferous church because she approaches it just a little bit differently.  And I mean that in a very good and refreshing way!  One time she sang her testimony to us very soulfully.  And another Sunday, she told us about sitting down to watch a news program the night before and it was all doom and gloom with the stories being pretty exclusively those of murder, rape, robbery and political corruption.  She was starting to feel down about it, but then caught herself and declared "Hallelujah, anyhow!"  She went on to talk about some other things that happened the same day that could have been very depressing but she chose to greet them with the same enthusiastic "Hallelujah, anyhow!"

I love that attitude!  It's one I'd like to develop in myself... the ability to look at anything going on around me and declare, no matter how terrible it is, "Hallelujah, anyhow!"  It kind of goes along with these song lyrics that spoke to my soul a few days ago.

I know there's a lot of versions of this song out there, some probably more worthy of a listen than others.  Many of them are attributed to Leonard Cohen, as is this one, and curiously the lyrics vary between them on some of the verses.  I don't know which is authentic but I like this one.  And I like these particular words in it:

"There's a blaze of light in every word...
It doesn't matter which you heard -
The Holy or the broken Hallelujah."

I've made no secret that lately I've felt quite too acquainted with "broken" and doing a lot of exploring on personal, physical and spiritual realms trying to put all the pieces back together in an even better way.  Maybe a good way of saying that is that I'm seeking out the "Holy Hallelujah" times in life and find the sweet sister at Church to be an inspiration.

So whatever today brings... Hallelujah, anyhow!

No comments: