Sonny Swift was 85 and had never been great at singing. At church he had always made sure he couldn’t hear his voice above the others around him.
But one day, during praise, he got an impression. It was just the thought of a little person belting his lungs out because he thought God was just so good. And Sonny thought, “I kind of want to do that.”
And that day, in time for the last song, he tried it out a little bit. He sang a little louder, loud enough that a squeak or two rose above those around him.
He looked around and no one seemed to object.
So the next week he tried to do it at least a little during every song. He got a smile from his old friend, the town hairdresser. She was at least, he would say, encouraging it.
And on the third week he had made up his mind to sing as loud as he wanted. He closed his eyes, lifted his head, and sang the old hymns, mostly from memory. Some he sang loud with joy and others softly with reverence. Even he knew he hadn’t sung it very well. But he didn’t really care. Heck he was 85.
But when they sat down after worship, he just felt that the stress from the last week, actually, maybe from the last five years, had kind of been lessened.
Until Wednesday the following week he couldn’t speak. He had sung himself hoarse. But come Sunday he was ready to sing how he felt again. He sat in the back, which threw some folks off (they had all pretty much sat in the same seats for decades). He didn’t want to draw any attention to himself.
But he sat back there and he let his voice flow from him. Since everyone was in front of him he even felt more free to lift his arms and rock up on his toes a little bit. He closed his eyes and focused on making each note as good as he could, and a representation of his heart for God.
A few months later, everyone in Sonny’s church sang a little bit quieter because they liked to listen to him. They often turned and watched him when his eyes were closed because the sight of him, giving so much of himself so freely to God carried them into sincere, humbling, beautiful worship as well.
Raw Spoon, 8-31-22