I had the priviledge of attending my neice’s confirmation today, and I really do mean priviledge. 13 years ago, I stood by her as she was baptized, and I have been blessed to see her grow into a beautiful young lady. But that story is for another time. What I wanted to talk about was the older woman sitting behind us in church.
She was beautiful, gracious, somewhat robust, and maybe even a little hard of hearing. I am sure she was attending the service for her grand, or even great grandchild. The first song for the praise and worship portion of the service was “How Great Thou Art”. LOVE that song. For me it brings back so many memories of childhood, reminds me of the country church I attended, and even of my own grandparents. Now, I am typically the type to tear up at a time like this. We stop for kleenexes on the way into church, knowing what lies ahead. Seriously. My family surrounding me, a special occasion, and to top it off, a iconic song like “How Great Thou Art.” I was expecting a flood.
To my surprise, this kind woman behind me BELTED out:
“O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder…”
Not quite on tune, I might add.
As the song began, I started to giggle. (Has that ever happened to you? In the most inappropriate times?) I giggle sometimes when I am nervous, and I think that is why I started, hearing this woman sing so loudly, and so terribly off key. But then, I think that giggle turned into a smile when I thought of the depth of life this woman must have experienced. I am sure there have been sorrows, joys, and celebrations not unlike today. But what struck me was her ‘I don’t care what anyone thinks, I am going to belt it out from my toes’ kind of attitude! Love that!
I feel like I am so inhibited at times, feeling like I need to act a certain way, fit the mold so to speak. I wonder what it has taken for her to get to the point of losing all her inhabitions. Insecurities. Is it simply years? Experiences? Time? Or is it a confidence in knowing who you are, or maybe what is important in life? A knowing that you are a child of God and created in His image, so what do you have to hold back?
Whatever it is, I want it. I want her confidence. Her outward expression of praise. Her uninhibited spirit. I feel like I work toward this state of being, yet continually fall short. Maybe it will take a lifetime to get there—- or maybe it is humanly impossible to really achieve this state of mind. But, at least I’m trying. Regardless, I need to remember the extra message I gained from today’s service. Sing it like it matters.