Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Can Sing

I don’t know about you but I’m not one to get excited about going out of my comfort zone.
And yet each and every single time God takes me out He not only provides for me but grows me in ways that simply cannot be done when I hunker down inside my zone.
He took me out on Sunday.
To a nursing home.
Not just any nursing home actually- but to the exact nursing home my grandmother passed away in the beginning of January.
I haven’t been back since that night. Hadn’t had a need to…
Or a desire to…
Or any “to”…
Until Sunday.
Allow me to share a bit of background—Ms. Books’ Jr. High Sunday School class does a community project every other month called The RAK Project—Random Acts of Kindness…. During class time and sometimes right into morning worship time.
Scandalous, you think?
Oooh, not me.
When did we get the idea that “church” is only done inside a sanctified, fancy building?
Church can be anywhere and its time we started not only looking at it differently but acting differently…
Ahem. I’ll save that for a different post.
Their RAK projects so far have been physical out and about projects- raking leaves and shoveling snow. They’ve had some wonderful, positive feedback but even better than that the kids are excited about doing for others. Yeah, you got that right-
A few weeks ago the teacher (insert: also great friend of ours) asked if I would help with the next RAK project. I think I said yes before I even knew what it was. You see, Mr. Steady has gone with them on a couple of the projects and I would listen to him and Ms. Books and our friend discuss the projects and such and all I could think of is:
I want in on that.

I want to do…. For others… I want to experience corporate church outside the walls.
So I said YES. Then he told me why- he wanted to take the kids to a local nursing home to sing praise songs and needed me to choose some songs and lead the singing.
He told me to pray about it and get back to him.
Always a good thing.
I prayed about it and I had a marvelous time going through my music, choosing songs and not once did I think of what I would be stepping back into…
It was like God kept me wrapped up, safe in his arms- protected from my wayward thoughts that can run me so far away from His plans- until it was time for me to step forward and do.
Leading a bunch of teens in singing music- without practice AND a cappella, I might add, is tripping and skipping me right on out of my comfort zone.
It didn't even cross my mind until Sunday morning that I would be revisiting that nursing home… As we walked to the doors, my stomach was more than flip-flopping- it was cart wheeling… wildly- my comfort zone didn’t even seem to be in the same zip code.
Nothing to do but the best I could do—Give it to God and keep putting one step in front of the other.
When we walked in and saw all the smiling faces waiting for us- I no longer fretted- it all stopped. I didn’t even have sweaty palms!

Instead I found something wonderful….
I rejoiced that God would take my small thing- my voice and make someone else happy and perhaps even help them “Raise the Praise” and be blessed. My small thing mingling with others- teenagers- small things and creating glorious praise.
Out of my comfort zone became Part of my comfort zone.
Of course it certainly helped that it wasn’t just me… we were a group.
Doing church outside the walls.
God filled the space. I don’t know if our singing was all on key and I know I flubbed a few words but it just didn’t matter- we weren’t there to sing perfect. Just to sing.
And not to sing just anything but to sing about one thing.


“How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And I t makes my heart want to sing”
~ Lyrics from How Can I Keep From Singing By Chris Tomlin

How like my God to take a place that held such a mixture of pain-filled ( yet and grace-filled) memories for me and replace it with all out worship.
All OUT Worship.
I was once again completely wrapped in his arms and reminded of that night when I held Gramma’s hand and read scripture to her, to the room, to that place… and to me.

“I can sing because you hear me, Lord
When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I know
That I’ll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne”

And so God continues to work his amazingness in me and I continue to be in awe of how he can take my jittery, haulting steps and teach me to run with him.

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other.
None of this going off and doing your own thing.
And cultivate thankfulness.
Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house.
Give it plenty of room in your lives.
Instruct and direct one another using good common sense.
And sing, sing your hearts out to God!
Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—
be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, 
thanking God the Father every step of the way.
~ Colossians 3:15-17 The MSG

I can sing.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful post! It's good to read your praise to jesus. Keep singing to his glory! Blessings jane



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