Lei Wah Wanna Be

Jun 29, 2005Find joy today

Something struck me today.

We had the President of Christian Associates, Linus Morris, visit for the day. He came to encourage our church planting team here in Southern France. We spent the morning debriefing about our first year here, went out to lunch in Valbonne, and then spent the remaining afternoon thinking about the future, about how our church will look. Then we spent time praying. We ended our time by singing Blessed be Your Name (Matt Redman song).

During the meeting, Linus painted a picture of how our church will look–freedom-filled, life-giving, an authentic community. Then he gave an example from his own life. Hearing him speak about his recent trip to Turkey and how he engaged with his tour guide stirred something dormant in my heart.

I remembered Lei Wah.

Lei Wah was a part of a church in Malaysia. When I was fresh out of college, I spent six weeks with that church. I roomed with Lei Wah. There are two things I remember about Lei Wah: she worshipped with everything within her, and she viewed every moment of life as a God-inspired appointment.

The Lord planted a picture of her in my mind today, one that haunts me from time to time when I have let life invade my joy. The picture is of Lei Wah sitting before a boom-box, arms raised, tears streaming down her face, singing with vigor to Jesus. She worshipped every morning this way. She worshipped alone and she worshipped throughout the day. Her life was marked by joy, by singing, by elevating God.

And she often spoke to others about Jesus. Every circumstance was filtered through the lens of Jesus. Every moment of life was a gift. Meeting people generated excitement.

Hearing Linus talk with the same passion as Lei Wah made me realize that I’d been living in the opposite way. Instead of worshipping, I’ve grumbled. Instead of rejoicing at the divine appointments brought my way by the sovereign hand of God, I navel-gazed and retreated into myself.

You know what? I don’t want to live that way any more. I’m tired of the introspection. Sick of the complaining. Weary of the toll this year has taken on me. It’s time to ask Jesus to make me like Lei Wah, to become a fanatic worshipper of Jesus, to welcome each moment as an amazing gift, to see each person He puts before me as an amazing privilege to love.

I wish I could find Lei Wah and thank her. I don’t remember any of our conversations, but I remember her heart. I remember her passion. I remember her hope.

Dear, sweet, amazing Jesus,

Hear my prayer. Make me like Lei Wah. I want to be a worshipper of you. I want to be passionate about who you bring my way. I am tired of living a complaint-based life. Tired of seeing the darkness when light lurks nearby. Tired of glass-half-empty-poor-me theology. Invigorate my heart. Renew me like the dawn. Fill me. Pour out of me. And fill me again. Arms raised, heart bowed, I want to be a worshipper of You. In every way. In the mundane. Ignite my heart today, Jesus.