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*STORY: Weird Voice as an Instrument of Praise

Amber had a job where she never had to talk. She had always kept silent in school. She didn’t really have friends, accept the type you can sit silently next to at a movie or something with no commitment to share words. God seemed to be the only place Amber felt safe to talk. I mean, really only if she prayed in her head though. Her voice was about twenty years too young. It sounded like a child’s, but even smaller, like you see in movies where someone gets shrunk. But this one came from her normal sized, 35 year old body. And whenever she spoke, it startled people. 


Even just today, on the plane coming back from helping get her mom’s estate in order, the stewardess asked what she’d like to drink. And when she said “a coffee with two creams” everyone in the aisle looked over at her, startled. 


Not unusual.


Amber had landed and gotten to the Wednesday night worship service at her church a few minutes late. The band was already playing. It was a fairly new church to her, and she didn’t recognize anyone around her as she slipped in. 


The church was kind of hipster and was ‘in the round’ which means the stage was in the middle and pews all faced it. She found somewhere sparsely populated half-way back, behind the singer, and shyly lifted her hands. She especially loved the music at this church. 


She had longed to let her voice out freely for years. She had not fully done so since her mother had told her in a frustrated moment in fourth grade to keep that squeaky thing to herself. But she had probably hated her own voice for since before that.


But now with mom gone, and Amber needing God more than ever, it felt like something needed to change. She looked around. She usually whispered instead of sang. She wanted to give him something good. “God,” she prayed, “I want to sing to you, but I have this stupid voice.”


Just then they got to a lyric that said, “Sing a new song to him.”


“Sing a new song, God? What does that mean for me?" She thought. "Well,” She shrugged, "I don't know if it's a new voice, but its definitely not an old person’s one.” 


The singer spoke between the lyrics, encouraging the crowd, “You are a new creation, so lift up a new song.”


She felt a little bit convicted now and argued, “God it will distract people. They’ll all look over.”


The band sang, “Sing a little louder…” 


She huffed and eventually closed her eyes. She wanted to let her voice free so badly. She tried to ignore everyone around her. In fact she prodded herself that she needed this, despite what it would make anyone else think. And she finally realized that the time she would hear herself least was actually with people singing all around her like this. So this just might be her time.


She started just by opening her mouth and letting the notes come out. She could hear her tiny voice just enough to know she was on key. She started shaping the words with her lips but that, she realized sounded too much like a voice, a small embarrassing one. So she simply tried to match the tune. 


“Sing a little louder,” the song implored.


She closed her eyes more tightly, for she could feel the temptation to check around her. She needed this. In fact she pushed her fingers down against her ears so she could hear the purest form of the melody and she could make sure she was matching it. 


She felt like she could match the tune pretty well, and it felt so good to let herself out freely. She took in full deep breaths and let them out in melody growing in strength. In fact after a few verses she started harmonizing with it, going to notes that complemented the ones being sung from the stage. She just knew which notes to sing to sound good and she liked it. She forgot those around her. She was feeling like a child playing with a new toy given by God, a smiling father, in a garden with just the two of them. 


What she didn’t realize was that with her ears covered, her volume had grown to be among the loudest around her. And another thing she didn’t realize was that although everyone certainly did look over at her, it was in awe at the lovely choral instrument that was harmonizing so beautifully close to them. 


She also didn’t get to see the main singer’s surprised amazement when she turned around and saw what instrument it was that was so beautifully harmonizing with her voice. The young lady with fingers in her ears and her eyes squeezed shut so tightly.


The singer turned back around, a new smile in her voice, and lifted her fist in the air and her voice surged with a new strength. “Sing a little louder,” she sung. 


Eventually everyone in the room had noticed and were starting to bring the best of whatever they had. For they had glimpsed the beauty of one person singing with such a pure heart, neglecting all others before their God. 


“Sing a little louder!!” The singer on stage had led the band back to the verse again. “Sing a little louder!!” She now jumped on stage, the cord to the microphone swirling and dancing. Much of the crowd threw their hands up and jumped, moved with more spirit than this church had seen in six months.


“Sing a little louder!”

The volume grew. Voices rose. Bodies were releasing the dance within them.

“Sing a little louder!”

The drummer was swinging his hair around and the guitarist was jumping. 

“Sing a little louder!”

The singer shouted in between the lyrics, “For God has given us a voice that is ours to sing! No one else has what we can offer him. Offer up your best, people of God, everything that is you, offer it up to Him, His beloved!”


—-

Raw Spoon 5-6-24 (on a plane to Philadelphia)

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These BLOGS are usually inspired by messages I (or friends) feel we have heard from God. This is the nature of our God. Listen for how he may be speaking to you.

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