I grew up in an era in which Christianity mistakenly thought it was our job to judge everyone else and each other, too. So I used to judge people who expressed their praise for God with their arms lifted high to Him.
My fellowship of Christianity didn’t do that. So it had to be wrong. Besides, I couldn’t understand why (unless wishing to draw undue attention to themselves) anyone would want to do such a thing.
That is … until I had children.
And I began to understand that my power to judge and have compassion is as weak and immature as His power is perfect. From Psalm 103:
Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases …
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
It’s hard to resist a child. When a child asks you to help with something she can’t do; get something he can’t reach; kiss a boo-boo or provide an outstretched-arm full-body lift-me-up-and-hold-me-tight hug … it’s hard to say no. It’s their shameless humility that captures our hearts. They are fragile of body, mind and spirit. They need us. No one else will do. They reach out for the only one who cares, who will help, who will comfort.
So we must be with God.
And though I worship with the same fellowship and do not draw undue attention to myself by lifting my hands (thereby inviting judgment) – sometimes I close my eyes during our times of praise together and imagine myself reaching out to my Father in the loving surround of a much larger fellowship ….