Thursday, August 03, 2006

here I am to worship

Seems to me like our Lord is in the business of making silk purses out of sow's ears continually. I tell him this is a useless and sadistic occupation, but He does not listen to me, thankfully. I love music, but I could not truthfully class myself "a musician". My poor mother also tried to tempt me with piano lessons and a french horn. I usually wet the bed the night before the dreaded recitals and continued this torture simply to get to the ice cream shop and sugared orange wedges we celebrated my fame with afterward. It worked for awhile. I also attempted school plays and programs. This, too, was such a battle of nerves it seemed I was not destined for the stage and everyone forced to sit in the audience knew this long before I did.

After the birth of baby number three, it was decided my oldest daughter would take piano lessons. She seemed to pick it up quickly but the interest lagged. Mine, however, was piqued, so thus began (again) my "career" relearning the piano, sitting with 10 year olds during nursing home performances and gaining a new love for music and performance. I trembled and shook, squeaked through church worship practices, knew I was the caboose on the train, but persevered. Somehow God kept whispering, "keep trying". Our family began attending a church that had a worship band. I was invited to be a part because of my piano skills....and because there was no one else in the church who could play. Well, it was an endorsement of sorts as they did not have to ask at all. I went from needing written music to chords and improvisation, to (wonder of wonders) playing AND singing, to finally having to take lead vocal duties. But this isn't about me.

So this morning I went to the church to practice. One of my most favorite contemporary worship songs is Tim Hughes' "Here I Am to Worship". I locked myself in the church at 6 in the morning. I screamed and screeched until the sweat was running down my face. Then I started this song, and like the opening of a movie in a dark theater the first line projected itself in my head, "Light of the World, You stepped down into darkness..." It seemed like the whole sanctuary became enveloped in silence and my voice and keyboard filled the room. Streams of light played over the tops of the chairs as the morning sun shone through the glass front door. I was overcome. It sounds so trite, but this is the reason I sing. What a worthy Lord we have, and it seemed in that moment somehow those words blessed and sanctified my less than noteworthy musicianship. It was like I could see Him stepping down from brilliant light into a dark, dark cloud without hesitation. He willingly took our prison sentence upon Himself. We deserve death, and to save us He took a trip to a living hell. The end of the song says, "You're altogether lovely, altogether worthy, altogether wonderful to me", and I'm so glad I have the skills to tell Him in music.


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