Sing a New Song

It’s a big day for me. I’m a little distracted with the excitement of it all.

If you recall, in The Bicycle Dress blog of a couple weeks ago, I ended with an aspiration I have that is a deep desire of my heart and an expression of the real me but that I haven’t had the courage to unleash. Can’t remember? I want to be a backup singer in a band.

Well, relax, that isn’t happening, but I did take a step in the right direction. I joined the choir at my parish. Tonight, is my first practice.

How did this happen you say? I have found a church home that feeds my soul. A big part of the feast is the music. Every Sunday, at some point in the mass, I feel the urge to clap in appreciation for the connection I feel to God through the music. It really moves me.

Music has always been a big part of my life. My mom and dad liked to listen to the radio. They loved to dance too. As a teenager I had quite a collection of 45s that I played on my record player. Remember how you would stack them up and they would drop down one at a time to play? The good ole days.

My performing began in third grade when I was cast as Gretel in the Sound of Music (see the picture above)  at my older sister’s high school. Then there was the role of Mary Poppins in the sixth-grade talent show and a string of musicals in high school: Mame, My Fair Lady, and a solo in Bye, Bye Birdie. (It was one sentence but hey.)

Since then, my singing has been relegated to private concerts in my car and silly but precious moments with our children and later, grandchildren. I can really nail a good “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”, and “Bicycle Built for Two”, not to mention “Skid-A-Marinky Dinky Dink” and “Hush Little Baby.”

The thought of once again singing songs that don’t involve made up words that rhyme, lambs showing up at school, or carts and bulls that are always falling down seemed so appealing.

I heard it said once that singing is praying twice. I think that is why I’m drawn to this right now. I am so overwhelmed with the knowledge and experience of God’s love in my life that sometimes my words prayed don’t seem like enough. I’m hoping my words sung will fill the need I have to praise and thank God.

My biggest problem won’t be staying in tune or hitting the high notes. My biggest problem will be getting through a song without crying. I have a habit of “happy crying”, as we call it in our family, every time I sing in church. Happy crying is what happens when God’s presence seeps into the moment in such a powerful way that your usual ways of maintaining a sense of maturity and control are rendered useless, like each time our children let us know a new grandbaby was joining the clan or when I witnessed my mom’s last breath and knew she wasn’t suffering anymore. The words of many of the songs we sing in church fill me with an undeniable sense of God’s presence.

It’s hard to sing with a lump in your throat but I am willing to give it a try. It helps that I have a friend who is going to do this with me. It was one of those “If you do it, I’ll do it” propositions. So, we are doing it.

I’ll keep you posted. Maybe you’d like to come and hear us sing, or in my case, happy cry.

Does anyone ever get cut from choir?


Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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