Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Worship (corporate) (10/04/07)
TITLE: The incomplete face of Jesus
By Chong Shipei
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The sanctuary was filled with man and women, boys and girls, people from every racial background.
The worship leaders were standing on stage, preparing to lead the crowd that had entered into the The Church of Our Savior for worship.
¡°Everyone, are you ready to worship the King?¡± the main worship leader for the day shouted into his microphone. The people resounded with joyous ¡°yes¡±.
The worship began.
The music instruments were right, the people¡¯s voice resounded together in harmony, it was a wonderful worship experience.
I felt like I was connected into this body called the church of God, singing with the people in the crowd, singing with the saints and angels in heaven. I could hear in my mind the beautiful voices of the angel joining us in worship of the King of kings.
How wonderful, how great it is to be in His presence. I wanted to remain here, forever, to praise and worship Him for all eternity.
But something bugged me. It ruined my wonderful moment of worship. It destroyed a little bit of that joy I had, worshipping Him here in the presence of His saints.
She was not here, she was not here, she was not here.
The voice nagged at me, again and again. It gave me no peace.
She, Wang Yi Hui, had not been here today. She was not here last week. Or the week before. Or the month before. Or months before.
She was one of the most joyous people; she was always the one to give her best in worshipping the Lord. She was always at the front row; she was always so absorbed in her worship of Him that she became oblivious to everything else.
But she was not here, today.
I tried to forget her absence, I tried to forget her. People fell away from the church, often. Why should I let the absence of a mere lady affected me in my joy of worshipping Him who save me?
But the voice refused to let me off.
She was not here, she was not here, she was not here. It was almost as if someone was sobbing, someone was crying within my heart. Someone missed her. She was not here, someone cried.
I could not take the nagging voice, anymore. It was affecting me in a greater manner than I wanted it to.
I got out of the sanctuary, and went to the toilet to take a break from the worship. I wanted a break from the nagging voice that bugged me.
Her son died in a car accident, I heard. He was unsaved. No one had bothered to attend his funeral, he happened to die on Christmas and no one wanted to spoil their joyous mood by attending the funeral of the son of a woman they hardly knew.
Was that when she stopped attending the service? Was that when her joyous dance and beautiful voice began to disappear from our church?
She was not here, she was not here, she was not here. The nagging voice followed me on and on. It was almost like a cry from somebody who missed her lively dance, her beautiful voice.
I went into one of the cubicles in the toilet.
A vision of a past event flashed before my eyes. It was a time when Yi Hui and I were at the house of another Christian sister, to enjoy some moments of female fellowship. We were trying to piece together a set of jigsaw puzzle that had the face of Jesus. We worked for hours, it was a difficult puzzle.
We almost completed the face of Jesus. Almost. One puzzle was missing, it was lost somehow, and we could not complete the jigsaw puzzle. The other 999 pieces were there, but this 1 missing piece made the face of Jesus incomplete.
I burst into tears inside the cubicle. He was the one crying.
He was crying for His 1 missing puzzle. Corporate worship was not complete unless she was here. But she was not here, today.
I repented of my sins for not being there with her last Christmas when her son passed away, and I prayed for her to come back. I wanted to dance and worship Him together with her.
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