Yesterday, I went to church for the first time (with the exception of Easter) since my mother died.
There are lots of reasons why I haven't gone. I have felt resistant. I've slept in. I have been so confused as to where I fit into the body of Christ, particularly which denomination I feel is closest to my personal beliefs. I've held onto a lot of bitterness from my experiences as the daughter of a minister. I just haven't felt like going. Putting myself out there. Pretending. Sitting in a room silently measuring myself up to other Christians.
And, to be perfectly transparent, I didn't want to cry in a room full of strangers.
I made it easily through the first two songs of the service without any threat of a tears. But then the words popped up on the screen and a familiar melody filled the air around me.
Holy, holy, holy.
All the people joined together in chorus, each part of the harmony melting together beautifully in the way only congregational singing can. And I heard it, brilliant and clear, just as though she were standing right next to me.
Lord God Almighty.
She always sang soprano, and I typically took the lower notes as an alto. She had a lovely voice, but she wasn't one to seek out the limelight, so you would never know about it unless you sat in front of her on Sunday morning.
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
I heard her all around me. She filled the room. Oh if only she were right beside me.
Holy, holy, holy. Merciful and mighty.
This is the emotion I've been avoiding, that I've been running from. And I stood there holding back the tears, keeping them at bay, telling myself just to relish the sound of her voice in my mind.
God in three persons, blessed Trinity.