Friday night is not the ideal time for worship.
That’s what I was thinking when I showed up at the church last night — rushed, half-eaten burrito still in one hand. I spend my days on the playground, and I had just enough time to change out of sweats and t-shirt and into sweater and quickly-brushed hair before running out the door to get to the church.
I’ve been sick this week, coughing and sleeping 10 hours a night, and I haven’t had enough voice to talk, let alone sing. I was tired, and unprepared for the music I was supposed to be leading during the service.
But, worship doesn’t require perfection. It only requires an open heart.
So I sat down at the piano, and within moments I was familiar with it — the weight of its keys, the feel of its pedals. Some of the other musicians were stuck in Friday night traffic, so I stalled, playing the same opening hymn over and over while people settled into their seats.
And it happened, somewhere around my fifth time through “Be Still My Soul.” My heart settled, my mind quieted, and I felt the music.
Be still, my soul. The Lord is on your side.
I realized at that moment that, actually, Friday night was a perfect time to worship — not despite my distraction and exhaustion, but because of it.
Some weeks it may take five times for that message to get through: be still, be still, be still. But that is, after all, why we come, hearts and heads bowed, to the sanctuary of God — to hear what needs to be heard, as many times as it takes.
To find peace in the moments when we need it most.