normally, when i think of these two words worship and technology, the visual images that pop in my mind are: 1) hip visual presentations such as well-made videos; 2) cool graphics; 3) fast beat band; 4) and the complicated looking soundboard.
on this post, i want to share the newest images i’ve gained when worship and technology came together: a new, fresh perception of worship (though it may not and it may sound just like what i mentioned in the first paragraph). i’m just sharing these because they were beautiful pictures. in my mind.
so it was couple weeks ago when this happened. a good brother named T with whom i do ministry planned a surprise “party” for his college roommate from connecticut. this roommate had fallen away from the Lord throughout college until christmas of 2010. this roommate, let’s call him W, started hearing the Lord couple months ago and he’s been following Him ever since. T had sent out an invitation to his close believer friends in atlanta to celebrate his prodigal brother’s return. T‘s idea of celebration was to fellowship by hearing W‘s testimony, singing praise songs, eating finger foods and enjoying each other’s company. so T had arranged so that a good brother, called E, was to lead praise songs and T was to share his testimony at the celebration. asking T to share his testimony before he even arrived atlanta probably had given the surprise away, but the gathering nonetheless turned out great. T opened up the night by introducing why we’re gather here, and “surprised” W that we’re here to celebrate his coming to the kingdom. then praising took place.
i was sitting next to E and i was able to see his laptop screen, where the song chords and lyrics were displayed. the first song began. in a bit i learned that W didn’t know any words to the songs. his head was bowed down and he was in prayer while the first song was being sung. in my head i thought, ‘should i switch seats with W so that he can peak at E‘s laptop screen to sing along?‘ i wanted to, but a part of me was concerned whether the commotion would interrupt the atmosphere or the musical worship that was already going on. me being the chicken that i am, i didn’t interrupt and let, about, 2 minutes pass by. next thing i know, another friend from connecticut, called D (who flew down with W to visit T) was showing W something from his smartphone. D had pulled out his phone, searched the lyrics of the song on the internet, and was sharing with W (up to this point, i had no idea that D was a believer. he turned out to be a seminary student). this act, of D sharing the lyrics on his small phone screen with W so that W can sing along with the body of believers, was just wordlessly beautiful (i wish i had taken a picture of it). it put a smile on my heart (since my lips were already singing the songs 😉 jk) it was a good representation of a brother helping out a (spiritually) younger brother, being there for him and guiding along: not letting any obstacles to come before W so that he can be included in worship..
the next day, a group of people including W, T, D and myself, were gathered for house church. at house church was also a friend named M, an iraqi believer who came to the U.S. less than 6 months ago. his english is very limited. we studied the book of Corinthians 2 and discussed amongst ourselves. M understood the text because he brought his arabic Bible (and arabic is his heart language) but he did not fully understand everything that we discussed. so a brother named C decided to translate all that we were saying on google translator so that M can understand just as much as we did and be part of it (while this was going on, i had noticed that D was observing M attentively). C trying to translate to M on google translator made them lag in the discussion, couldn’t really participate with the rest of the group, but they did their best. in the end, when we were sharing what we thought of the passage, M was also asked to share what he thought from what he understood from the text and our discussion. so this time, C had to reverse translate what M wanted to express – from arabic to english. it took a long time to translate M‘s arabic expression to english, but at the end, he shared a deep statement and we knew that M understood perfectly what the word was teaching us and what we had discussed.
it’s so awesome that these two brothers W and M became a part of the body immediately despite the hinderances of not knowing the lyrics or not having the ability to comprehend the discussion. these two experiences back to back in two consecutive days made me realize that we can use things around us for better purposes, specifically to glorify God.
help us to see ways we can share our resources, Lord 🙂 because we’re often blinded. graciously give us wisdom to allocate our resources for your purposes and give us convictions so that we can actually see our desires becoming actions. lead our hearts to yours. amen.