Sometimes the unexpected happens.
Monday morning we came into work to find that apparently the building had gotten struck by lightning over the weekend. Not impossible - the New England shoreline is well known for its violent summer thunderstorms. So in we come, ready to face a new week, and our phones are down, many of our computers cannot connect to the internet, our frame-relay to our central office is down, and several peices of equipment are fried.
It has been an eventful week so far.
I'm thinking also about last Sunday's worship service. I think lightning struck there as well. It was going to be a busy day for me no matter what. We had several children who were going to camp for the week, and as the pastor of the children's network (as well as a father of one of the campers) it is traditionally my job to drive them all out to Pennsylvania to drop them off. We usually leave mid-service to get there for sign-in at 4.
We also had a challenging piece to play in worship. We rotate picking the songs, and one of the songs this week was the great Worship Medley from Israel and New Breeds Alive in Africa album. For those who do not know it, it's a medley of Holy Ground; Holy, Holy, Holy; and Alleluia. It's a really nice passage, with a lot of dynamics, going from near-a capella to full-on crescendo and back. We spent a good amount of time rehearsing it. With all those dynamics, timing and tempo is a challenge, and as with many New Breed songs, there are quite a few chord changes to live up to.
I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to these things, I admit. I wasn't really feeling this song. I didn't think we nailed it, and we were working too hard at it. To me, that's distracting, although I know full well that 95% of the people not on the stage would not hear any problem with it.
So here we go, service is starting. We had some great songs in the set, Beautiful One, Your Grace is Enough, which we do our own arrangement to and really get people on their feet. Eventually we get to the medley.
That's when lightning struck. By the time we got to Holy, Holy I could hear someone weeping, even over the stage volume. People started just coming to the altar, and those who didn't, I could see really worshipping. It was one of those exceptional worship moments, the ones you get only once in a while, where you walk out going "wow."
And I didn't feel the song at first. Shows you how much I know.