Sunday, November 20, 2011
Thanks-giving (for Christ)
So, for our ward Christmas Program this year, our choir director has asked me to sing "Poor Mary".
I've done it once before. Actually, singing this song was the highlight of my Christmas last year. It turned out that a week and one day before our program, our Bishop heard this song performed at a concert, and asked our choir director if it would be possible to include it in the program. (Let me make this clear though--he did not demand anything. He just asked her if she could manage it. Our Bishop is a humble, understanding, loving man. I adore him.)
So anyway, the choir director asked me if I could do it. To be honest, I didn't know if I could. It's a deceptively tricky song, with a lot of sustained high notes, and I figured that it would probably take more breath support and finesse than a semi-retired-hobby-singer like myself could manage.
However, insecurities notwithstanding, the fact is, I have a little standing deal with the Lord. The deal is, if anyone asks me to sing, anytime, anywhere, I say "yes", unless I am logistically unable to be at the appointed place at the appointed time. In return, my hope is that the Lord will see that I am willing to share what talent he's given me, and will give me miracles in the talent-growth-and-maintenance department (not unlike the master did in the parable of the talents shared by Christ in the New Testament). So far, I've held up my end of the deal, and the Lord seems to be willing to indulge me with what I hope to be His.
So, I said I would do it, and then proceeded to spend the next week practicing and praying. Long story short, it went well. Really well. Many of those who heard it were moved, but more importantly (for me), I was moved. As I worked on the song, it started to become very personal to me, and I gained a message from the lyrics that I hadn't seen at first glance. The song tells how Mary didn't have anywhere to lay Jesus, how she didn't have anything to give Jesus, and finally, how she didn't have a song to sing Jesus. In each case, miraculously, those needs were met, by the manger, the wise men, and the angel choir.
As I applied that to my own past experiences, I could see times when I had been lacking, at times severely so, and how my needs had been met, my efforts had been multiplied, and my heart had been filled by events and blessings that were to me, as miraculous as any angel choir or king on a camel. As I realized that, I felt a kinship with Mary that I'd never felt before.
Sometimes, we come up short, you know? Sometimes life is hard, and we are thrust into circumstances that are uncomfortable and painful and difficult. But, we are never ever ever alone. And the Lord will provide. Just like He did for Mary.