Monday, November 7, 2011

A Chorus for God

Yesterday in church, a group of children, from under 5 years old in a specially adapted wheelchair, up to older teenagers that seemed to have Down's Syndrome, or some sort of physical disability, filed onto stage. They all began singing while the wonderful orchestra accompanied them. From the first note, they were discordant, so far off-key that I winced, and some voices shrilled loudly above the others. Some performers stood mutely, waving their hands about.
Oh dear, I thought.
And then, inexplicably as they sang (badly) about Jesus, and the love of God extended to all, my eyes began to bubble with tears. One young man was waving his arms like a conductor in beat with the clashing harmonies. Another was stretching his hands upward. One looked ready to run off stage, but an adult with her held her arms around her and smiled at her encouragingly. She gazed into the child's eyes as they sang together.

The song swelled through the church, and my awareness of how really awful it sounded began to subside. Instead, I heard the voice of struggle, of trying to fit in to a world that one feels alienated from. However, the song was not one of pain, but of victory. I could not even tell you what they sang...that didn't matter. It was why they sang and who they were singing for that was important. I was very upset that I had not packed a box of tissues in my purse that morning, but glad that I don't wear mascara. The singers filed off stage to thunderous applause and the longest standing ovation I have seen in that church. Throughout the sermon, I had to keep dabbing at my eyes which were persistently dribbling tears.

The sermon was about serving God. One of the pastor's main points was that serving God was not based on ability, but on availability. He behooved us to keep a hedge of unscheduled time in our lives that we would be able to serve when called. But he noted that more often than not, the call to serve comes at most inconvenient times. And more often than not, the call to serve comes in areas we do not feel gifted in. The apostles were largely uneducated, unskilled men. Yet when called, they left everything to follow Jesus. Those who are called are not only the wealthy, the beautiful, the exalted, or the talented. Often they are a motley crew of discordant singers who have formed the most poignant chorus for God.

Luke 14: 13-14
13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Luke 5: 10-11
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, Vickie! Such a wonderful truth ... God uses our weaknesses for us to discover his strength. And I love that your church celebrated the passion and service these little people wanted to share! Makes my eyes fill, too.