Posts tagged worship


Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God…

Hebrews 13:15

Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

Colossians 3:16

Sing to Me.

I heard the words as if they were whispered in my dormant ear.

Me? Sing? But I can’t sing, can’t hear the tune to match my voice along the sounds that make a song. You know I’m not a singer, Lord. Deaf girls don’t sing.


I’d been asking the Father why my walk with Him seemed dry and just a little off lately. I’d sensed a distance, a disconnect. By now I’ve delighted In His nearness for so many years that the nagging sense that my heart was growing tepid worried me.

What was wrong?

After turning the searchlight of His Word onto my daily life and asking Him to show me anywhere I might be messing up, drifting from His ways, I came up with a handful of not-so-obvious sins to confess: a little selfishness here, a critical tendency there, a good bit of laziness, my usual sin of self-indulgence.

Still the silence rang loud.

Until this morning, when I asked again.

Lord, what is up? What is wrong? I need You, need that closeness, that joy, that hope that rallies me out of my warm bed on a cold morning to meet You in that place I crave.

And that’s when I heard Him say it once more.

Sing to Me.

But Lord, please. I can’t sing.

At church I mostly fake it, or hide under the loudness and face away from anyone near. Sometimes I just stop and watch and pray and sing deep where no one hears. I raise my hands while those around me raise their voices.

Sing to Me, Di.

But Phil might hear. What would he think? I’ve tried singing on my walks but that’s embarrassing too. What must the neighbors think? A woman and her dog walking down the street singing hymns that sound like two-tone, out of tune meanderings of a mad woman. Please!

Just sing to Me, Di, I love when you sing. I love that sound of tuneless worship. Like Mary’s broken box of sweet perfume spilled on My feet, wiped with her mass of tangled hair.

Sing in the beauty of your brokenness, Di, and delight Me. Forget about anyone and everyone else.

Sing to Me.

And so I pulled on thick, warm socks, grabbed the green hymnal off the bookshelf—  the one I’d  learned so long ago to worship with— and headed down two flights of stairs to the basement. Huddled by the heater, wrapped in my favorite blanket, I opened to an old favorite.

Are ye able, said the Master,

To be crucified with Me?

Yea, the conquering Christians answered,

To the death we follow Thee.

And then that second verse, asking if I am able to remember the thief who lifted his face to Jesus to find his soul pardoned and invited into His presence.

And all I can remember is that one I cannot seem to thoroughly forgive. The one who doesn’t seem sorry enough for all the wounded  left in the wake of a selfish pursuit of  happiness.

Oh Father, forgive me for the stinginess of my grace. Who am I to hold a sin against someone when You do not?

I found myself singing it again and again, louder each time, more free and full than I’d felt in a long, long time.

Lord, we are able, our spirits are Thine,

Remold them, make us like Thee, divine…

Another hymn, louder.

Again and again, with increasing confidence.

Yes! This is what I want because this is what He wants.

My gift to Him. My off-kilter, broken, not-very-lovely gift is the one He cherishes most.

And suddenly it dawned on me, how Mary must have been embarrassed when she huddled at His feet, wiping them with her tears. How the misunderstanding of unmerciful men must have weighed heavy on her unwrapped head. Were her tears like mine?

The humiliation of obedience?

The spilling of what she’d held too tight?

The relief of letting go?

And what about David when he danced before God? Had God whispered to him like He did to me?

Strip off your royal robes, David, down to the plain tunic that hides nothing. Fling off your dignity and dance for Me.

I don’t know, but I do know that this hour I’ve spent singing has released something somewhere in my insides.

And I know I’ll be back.

Back to the basement, the old green hymnal open on my lap, singing my heart out.

What about you, my dear ones?

Is He asking something of you?

Something  surprising?

Something hard?

Something so laughably easy that you’re certain it couldn’t be all He wants?

Will you listen?

Will you sing?

From my heart, filled to overflowing,


repost: march 2013



And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind

and unplug the ears of the deaf. 

The lame will leap like a deer,

and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!

Isaiah 35:5,6 

I wonder sometimes what I am missing by not hearing music.

I don’t remember, really, what bells sound like, or tinkling chimes.

What does it mean that a song is rich? Or layered and complex?

Why do people get in their cars and immediately reach for the power button on the CD player? My vintage 1976 Mercedes doesn’t even have a CD player.

And yet I see my son and how he loves his music. How he fits certain kinds to match his moods— loud and driving and strong for courage of conviction, soft and low for worship, crazy drum solos and crashing cymbals for joyful thanksgiving.

It all sounds terrible to me. When I’m “plugged in” (Comer-speak for when I have my cochlear attached to my head) it sounds just like the garbage disposal eating egg shells and ice. When I’m “unplugged” I hear nothing.

And this morning as I read about the building of the Temple by Solomon, I am struck by words about music. Bells on priest’s robes, musicians gathering to form choirs, and this:

All these men were under the direction of their fathers as they made music at the house of the Lord. Their responsibilities included the playing of cymbals, harps, and lyres at the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman reported directly to the king. They and their families were all trained in making music before the Lord, and each of them—288 in all—was an accomplished musician. The musicians were appointed to their term of service by means of sacred lots, without regard to whether they were young or old, teacher or student.

(1 Chronicles 25:6-8)

A family of music makers. Can you imagine the fun they had? The noise their neighbors put up with? And do you notice they all got to play? From the very beginner to the very best, this family made music together for the Lord.

And I wonder again what I am missing.

Would my worship be sweeter if I could sing along with my iPod?  If I didn’t cringe at the metallic clash of cymbals through my cochlear, would I smile and sing and shake my head like my son? Dance a jig in the hallway like he does when he thinks no one is watching?

Am I missing out on joy?

I try not to think about things like that— to accept my life now and be grateful for all I have. The fact that I can talk to my children and hear what they have to say is nothing short of a miracle that would have been impossible just 20 years ago.

I know that and I am thankful. Every morning when I put that thing on my head and reconnect with the sounds of living, I thank God that I can hear, that I am not isolated and alone.

But still I wonder.

And someday I’ll know.

On that day I step from this world into the Presence, I’ll hear the music. And you will too, but I’ll hear it in a way I think most people won’t. I’ll hear perfect music with perfect ears that have been deprived of something God made.

And I’ll be great friends with that tribe of people who couldn’t see here on earth- the blind ones drinking in every sight, marveling, touching, exclaiming at the beauty. And the ones lame leaping and dancing and doing somersaults— those who were confined by crippled bodies for too long.

I’ll be the deaf girl singing. At the top of my voice— no more pretending I hear more than a note or two. I’ll pick up the microphone and belt it out for all to hear— for me to hear.

And you? What is it you’ll go after when God brings you into His arms and says, “Welcome home?”

My dad, whose failing lungs hold him back now, will probably head for a hike high in the newly restored Sierras. Matt will eat whatever he wants, unhindered by a diabetic’s restrictions on carbs or insulin. My friend Becky will get up from her bed and lead us all in line-dancing.

I am missing something by not hearing music. I am supposed to hear music. And I think its good for me to just spend a moment or two grieving over the loss from time to time.

Not to wallow, just to wonder what I have waiting for me.

And isn’t that wondering part of the waiting? Part of why we wait on tippy toes?  Longing for the Day. The Someday.

With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,

and encourage those who have weak knees.

Say to those with fearful hearts,

“Be strong, and do not fear,

for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.

He is coming to save you.”

Isaiah 35:3,4 

From my heart,