Walmart was crowded. People swirling through, grabbing fresh loaves of bread and Florida oranges and stocking stuffers. My own bag of last minute essentials was tucked beside my purse in the cart.
“Sleighbells ring, are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening…”
It’s a tradition, started years ago now. The group of us stumbled upon each other in the mini dining area at Walmart and because it was Christmas, and we often joke about living in a musical, someone started a carol. People stopped and stared of course, but that never slowed us down. In fact, it egged a few people on. If someone is watching, then how about a show?
Carols and four-part harmony and a few twirls.
The workers begged us to come back again the next year. So we did. And the year after and the year after…
I haven’t made it every year but I did this Christmas Eve. I stood, beside the display of dinner rolls and joined in, laughing through a slightly misguided attempt at Carol of the Bells. Then we switched to O Come, All Ye Faithful and it happened.
I might not have noticed except for that just a few nights before we had been talking about it. Meg, with her smile dancing and that glow in her eye, saying that she had found worship again. “It’s been so long,” she twirled her fork through the melting ice cream on her plate and I felt her words down to my bones.
Worship had become something that I do because I choose to live a lifestyle of worship, which is good. But somewhere along the way, I lost the freedom. I lost the sense of entering in. When she spoke, my heart starting beating wildly. Perhaps it was out there, somewhere, the freedom and depth that I longed to find again.
And I found it on the second chorus of O Come, All Ye Faithful, in the middle of Walmart on Christmas Eve. In the moment between, oh, come let us adore Him, and we’ll give Him all the glory, something broke free.
I don’t know if other people felt it but I did. And I stood on holy ground, right there beside the three shelves of dinner rolls.
This year, I want to be a year of worship. Yes, I want to live a lifestyle of worship. But I want it to be filled with moments too. Moments that I can carve into words and mark deep into my heart. I was here and He was here.
For He alone is worthy.