Saturday, April 12, 2008

Singing in Church

Sitting in the front pew by necessity not by choice, (SOME little Church!) my beady green eyes were darting back & forth. I had been invited to perform because my co-worker is their Minister and he was planning a service a little less structured this week. I accepted because I reasoned that since I didn't much care to participate, probably I should do so.

He had assured me, "Just play Amazing Grace, that's always good." It had been a good service. A man stood and talked of his trying to beat drug addiction without God, and finding it impossible to do so. Then he sang a song.

When the man who talked about drug addiction sat down, this young couple came up front to sing. They were cute as two kittens, neither of them past twenty-five, and obviously so much in love. They gave the Preacher a CD and asked him to play track five. Meanwhile, there I was in the front pew, getting ready to sing Amazing Grace.

Turns out, track five kind of WAS Amazing Grace! They sang it well, but I didn't have time to think about that. I was busy weighing options, and had about four minutes to plan. I could either:

1.) And that was great. Have you folks ever heard the Reggae version of Amazing Grace?
2.) Stairway to Heaven is a song that has always touched me, and here it is.
3.) Play something else, pull something out of thin air.

Four minutes to think, and I thought about the man who spoke of drug addiction. There was a time in my life where that could've been my story. Had there been ample enablers around me, I might have gone that way too. What's so magical about me, after all?

Every Christian has a conversion story, and they aren't all objectively dramatic, but all are dramatic to the owner of that experience. I stood to sing a song I'd written fifteen years earlier, and hadn't played much since.

As I wandered wild and aimless through my life,
As I stumbled like a boxer on the ropes.
As I stood out on the edge looking down,
It was only then that I began to hope.

I doubt that I'll be invited back anytime soon, and that is fine with me. I'd have rather sung Amazing Grace cause it is easy. But perhaps there is something about the Lord, that He/It doesn't want us to be comfortable around Him/It. Track five forced me to dig deep and understand I could've easily been this guy talking about drug addiction. Nothing magical about me that I've noticed yet.

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