ben gibbard. special guest jenny lewis. lots of smiles.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
i have a brother. he is currently a worship pastor in big bear lake, california.
i cry every time i am in the congregation and he is leading worship. every time.
this past weekend i had the chance to be lead into worship by him. i was visiting my family for mother's day. i realized half way through the first song that my mom was staring at me. later in the day she told me that i have always looked at my brother in a certain way. since i was a little girl i would look at him and smile - she says it makes her feel good that i still look at aaron with the same smile.
this made me think about why i cry when my brother leads worship. this is difficult because i struggle with the thought of "worship" in most churches - the feeling that i'm at a concert. the idea that the congregation feels as though they need to do nothing else in their act of worship except sing some songs...
anyway, back to my brother. why do i cry? it takes me back to junior high...
when i was in junior high my brother started to learn how to play the guitar. he picked it up pretty quickly and was soon shutting himself in his room and playing for hours. he started to get VERY good.
i remember many nights laying on my bed in the room next to him listening to him play. it was awesome - my own personal concert. he would play and sing for hours. i loved it.
one night he accidentally left his door open a little. i sat in the hallway to try and get a peak at him. he was so consumed with playing that he didn't notice me opening the door a bit more. i remember watching him. his eyes closed, hands traveling up and down the guitar and his voice projecting to the room. that was when i first realized what worship was. no, he wasn't playing a worship song. he was playing "one" by U2. it was his presence, his emotion, his total commitment to what he was singing and playing.
when my brother leads worship now, fifteen years later he still has that look. he hasn't lost it. when i see him on stage it is as if he is sitting in his room at the age of sixteen playing the hell out of his guitar. committed to what he is saying. believing in the power that is moving through him. in awe of who he is worshiping.
i'm sure people appreciate my brother's worship leading skills, his musical ability and his all around artistic nature. i'm sure some people think he is full of it and want him to go away... i don't think aaron is perfect. we disagree a lot. we argue. he is a flawed man (and i a flawed woman). but, i appreciate the absolute innocence that he brings - that i know he is up there, before everyone, taking them to a place that he isn't afraid to go himself. he would do the same thing if he were in his room all by himself. it gives me hope for church. it really does.
that is my brother.