So pretty close to a year ago, the entire world came to a screeching halt. No school, no social events and no church. We made our way as a family through this unbelievable journey and like many of you reading this, we are ready to move forward to the future. Please notice I did not say “back to normal,” because I am pretty sure there were parts of our normal around the village that we needed to say goodbye to! We were able to enjoy more family time, beach time, bike riding, camping and making memories, and the phrase uttered many times a day “get your mask”!!
We survived all the mask mandates, the social distancing and the safer at home orders, but to be honest for me the one thing I have struggled with the most is missing the ministry God has allowed me to be part of for 37 years. I was blessed to become a musician years ago and never dreamed that when I picked up that saxophone back in middle school it would become one of the most incredible blessings of my life! I enjoyed learning to play years ago and that passion has continued throughout my life, right up until last year when a virus stopped everything. I have continued to practice but my den is just not the same as my orchestra chair!! The cat is not impressed!!
I made the comment to a friend one time that it was so nice to be able to worship while I was playing and she asked me if that was really possible. My reply was “absolutely!” Music speaks to a part of the soul that sometimes even the best message can’t reach. I can tell you countless times that God has spoken directly to the deepest part of my soul through a line in a song or a phrase that might describe where I am in my life and the need for His words to just speak life.
My favorite song of all time is “Alabaster Box” by CeCe Winans. One small simple line in that song almost at the very end says ‘You don’t know the cost of my praise.” This past year has been hard, not the kind of hard that you just take a deep breath and walk away from but the kind of hard that just wrecks you. There has been so much loss in our world, our nation, our state, our city and yes, our church. I have seen so many stories from my orchestra chair before the virus hit as I looked out into the congregation that bring this line to life. We can look around our church and see dressed up folks who may be totally broken on the inside from life and circumstances and especially the circumstances of this last year. We don’t know the cost of their praise, we have no idea what it took for them to make it to the seat in the sanctuary and worship.
I have been there. I have had days where in my mind I would think if I could just get to my seat in the orchestra without having to talk to anyone, I will be ok. There is something so special to me about that chair. I have seen God move from that chair and I have felt the presence of God as I played notes to lift His name up. There is nothing “magical” or particularly special about that chair but to me it represents ministry and passion and appreciation for blessings and I have a sense of purpose when I am sitting there using the gift that God has given me to give back the praise He deserves. I have missed that over this last year. My heart has missed that chair and the music and being a part of worship. That chair is where I am supposed to be!!
This weekend our church, my church, will be gathering to worship and celebrate the resurrection of our precious Lord and I am so thankful to say that the worship ministry, the choir and orchestra, will be together again for the first time in a year! I could use a thousand exclamation points and I’m not sure it would accurately describe how happy my heart is!!! When God speaks He stirs our hearts for worship! Each time the Bible tells of a battle there were always musicians that went out ahead and prepared the field and the people for battle. If this last year has taught us anything at all it is that we need to prepare for battle!! I hope this weekend will find you in a seat in the sanctuary lifting praise to God for His grace and mercy and love. I know where I will be… in that orchestra playing with all my heart to the One who gave me breath to play!!! Blessings to you!!!!
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” Ps. 150