Sometimes freedom looks like exuberance–whooping, hollering, and dancing wildly
Other times freedom looks like quiet stillness–the complete absence of striving, with no need to prove anything to anyone
Sometimes freedom looks like laughing
Sometimes freedom looks like crying
Sometimes freedom looks like permission to feel nothing at all
Sometimes freedom looks effortless
Other times freedom looks a little awkward
Sometimes it just looks like the messy process of learning
Sometimes freedom looks like moving in your gifts without inhibition or restriction
Other times it looks like knowing it’s okay to sit back
Freedom looks like a lot of different things
At a lot of different times…
But always freedom is authentic
Freedom looks like being who you are
Where you are
And without the need to perform for others
Freedom looks like being the fullest and most authentic expression of who you are uniquely created to be…
Whatever that looks like in any given moment
Freedom looks like you being you
And me being me
I wrote the words above at a recent community night of worship. For several months now, a group of us have been hosting these nights monthly in my hometown. They have been powerful expressions of worship and unity. My soul is always refreshed, but this last one was different. I witnessed something I haven’t seen for a long time, if ever…
Really, in the purest and most authentic sense–it felt like church. It felt like church the way church is supposed to be.
The interesting thing is from the outside looking in, it probably looked more disjointed and less seamless in flow than the other meetings have been. There have been other meetings that may have given the outward appearance of greater freedom. Really, the other meetings probably just looked like a bigger and louder party! But this last time, if you looked beneath the surface with eyes of the Spirit, there was something incredibly beautiful happening. Something that was completely lacking in pretense.
Something that was completely authentic.
Because that is what true freedom looks like.
It was just His kids hanging out with Him together. There was absolutely no agenda other than that. There were no stars. No striving. No pretense. No polish. Just a multi-generational, multi-denominational, and multi-faceted group of people connecting with Him, each other, and His plans for our region.
The fact that it didn’t flow seamlessly is part of what made it so beautiful. No one cared. I have rarely been in a corporate gathering where there was so much grace, so much peace, so much unity.
And so much of His presence manifested in such a wide variety of ways.
He was there in quiet times of reflection. He was there in corporate prayer for a beloved brother and sister in need. He was there in welcoming those from out the area. He was even there in the not-so-seamless transitions. And yes, He was also there in some incredibly powerful moments of united praise.
But I think I noticed Him most in the complete lack of a need to “make something happen.”
I think pretty much everyone there knew Him well enough to know He simply is. Since we came–He came. We were content to let Him be “I AM.” We were content to simply be with Him and each other, whatever that ended up looking like. And I think what it ended up looking like…
Is true freedom.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. -Gal. 5:1 NIV