A powerful, thought-provoking insight....

Give me a well-trained tongue that has been borne out of silent listening in the sanctuary of my heart.

~ sevensacredpauses by Macrina Wiederkehr

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Wayfarin' Stranger

Yesterday I volunteered to sing at our congregation's Sunday evening service -- a unique service to which people come who often are homeless or broken by addiction or mental illness. Our congregation co-opts this service with another, also unique, community of faith which meets in an area park on Sunday mornings. Now, I volunteered to sing because my pastor, my mentor, my colleague jokingly said "oh yeah, and Daphne's singing." I love this guy because he knows how to push without pushing. He pleads ignorance of that which I speak. Yeah, right. But, the seed was planted and during a long, traffic jam afternoon with only my 10 year old son to talk with in the car (!), the Holy Spirit set to work. I've been having difficulty letting go and letting God help me with my singing. It's been really frustrating. I was driven (pun intended!) to make a call, to say "yes, I'll sing." I made a couple more calls -- one to my music director and another to the pastor. I've chosen "A Wayfarin' Stranger" to sing because I love that song. I believe it speaks to everyone who hears it. Who hasn't felt a stranger at some point in their lives?

Tonight, I went to church early for choir practice so that I could have time alone to sing in the chapel where the service will be held, and to practice letting go. I prayed on the way down that God would be with me, be my companion and guide and help me find a place where I could let go and feel safe and loved. It really seemed to help to do that, but what helped most, was just being there. I love the feel of our chapel. I first came to this church by this chapel. My mother's funeral service was held in this chapel. It holds a ton of emotional memories -- well suited to this song I might add. I love the sound of my voice in the chapel so I asked a friend from choir to come in and listen while I went through the song a last time. He gave me a thumbs up -- with an admonishment about my diction in the first verse (I know that one the best).

The fact that I am practicing and want to do my best for my God and my neighbors -- which would qualify as "the least of these" -- made me stop and think about my faith. The faith I have that God will get me through wherever he asks me to go. That I want to share the mystery of God's love and compassion with a group of broken and frightened and angry people because it's such a glorious message to share. And that I can sing this song and God will enable me to lift it up to Him in praise. This is in stark contrast to how I felt last Saturday! God is good!

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