Tuesday night is our Celebrate Recovery meeting. We start with an hour of singing and either a lesson or someone sharing their story. The lessons are the 8 CR principles which correspond to the 12 steps. It’s usually my time with the guys. I try to have some short videos playing before the meeting starts. It gets them in the chapel sooner because often the videos are humorous and we all need to laugh.
This week I pulled out the song we used as our theme song of the weekend when we had our annual camp retreat. The song, appropriately titled: I AM FREE.
The men, already on their feet, were into it from the beginning. Singing out, jumping up on the line “I Am Free to Dance” and then Felix happened.
“CRACK” “ALCOHOL” “SISTER-GIRL” “ANGER” “FEAR”
Their voices on top of each other. Not done yet, Felix, in sports-huddle style began hollering into the crowd. Again, I couldn’t make out the words as he turned to face the room, arm piercing the air as if he’s leading an army. He calls out, the men respond. Back and forth this goes until we all begin singing the chorus I Am Free.
I was taught you sing one of those “just above a whisper” songs to lead into prayer. Not tonight. Not tonight. This is in your face recovery and time for some big loud prayers. O.k. the prayer wasn’t that loud but the energy surrounding it was huge.
After the meeting was over Felix came and apologized. Apology? For what? This is church, your church. This is an expression of worship and praise. Not an imitation but pure.
Just what God wants from us. The pure, honest expression of praise. It doesn’t have to be loud, sung or spoken aloud. Just true. And offered to Him because He is.