One of my greatest pleasures in life is singing.  My mother came from a singing family.  She, her sisters and brothers sang in harmony all of their lives.  Mother was able to sing a wide range of notes.  She could harmonize in high tenor; but she had been the alto in her family’s singfests.  Some of my fondest memories are when we would sing while washing dishes.  I wasn’t good at carrying the melody when she switched into alto; and that frustrated her.   But I loved singing with her anyway.

My children used to complain that I had a song for every occasion.  If I didn’t know a song that fit the situation, I would make one up or change words to a familiar tune.  By the time my son was a teenage, he had surmised that I always sing when I’m angry, sad or confused.

As I look around Special Gathering, I find that singing within our population doesn’t always mean quality.  Leslie was by far the best choir member I’ve had in many years.  However, the quality of her voice was not great.  She had five or six notes that she could hit perfectly.  Because she had never learned to access her “head voice” which allows you to sing the higher notes on the scales, her range was limited.  Yet, she made up for it with grit, hard work memorizing and staying focused whenever we were singing, either at practice or during a performance.  After the initial training, I don’t ever remember having to say, “Leslie, watch me.”

Yet, Leslie brought what I call the charm factor to the choir.  Her face shined whenever we sang.  She would tilt her head slightly as though she could focus more clearly with her ears at different levels and she would smile.  Hearts of people in the audience would melt seeing the love of the Lord in her face and eyes.

Brenda was the first choir member who taught me the value of attitude and relationship in our singing.  Frankly, she was not a good singer.  In fact, her voice was pretty miserable.  However, her smile was priceless.  Whenever our choir sang, I would put her in front of me trying to shield the audience from her vocal tones.  Then I realized that everyone was coming to her and telling her how much she had blessed them.  I would smile and think about her pitiful singing.  Finally, I realized that her relationship with the Lord was what was blessing the people, not her ability to sing with perfect pitch.

I am constantly working to “build a choir.”  However, it is our members’ relationship with Jesus that blesses people, not their perfect pitch.  Their relationship with Him has taught me the importance of seeking God, not perfection.  When do you think that God is more pleased with us, when we have a bad attitude but perform perfectly, crossing every T and dotting every I? Or when we function out of love and adoration for Him and perform to the best of our ability?

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