Cycle of Beauty in Praise

During every choir rehearsal I am filled with awe at the beauty of song. Every single melody is like an infinite praise rolling off our tongues, a gift of word to tune that we sing back to God. The song, the instrument, the breath that gives voice to our hopes and dreams and sorrows, these are all God’s. The beauty, the pain, the pain made beautiful against the backdrop of God’s grace, these are all timeless tributes to something eternal, those places from within that God let’s us display as an outward appearance of his love. My heart swells and my eyes tear. I’m brought back to my senses at the toil and note by note, out in the fields labor that turn solos–our individual stories, into anthems, stock full of harmony, for a choir to sing.

And I’m reminded of the Biblical account of Leah and Rachel. Leah with her tear stained eyes, always the one working harder, hand to the spindle trying to earn love. Rachel, right in the center of being the chosen one, beautiful and singled out from the beginning, a product of someone else’s hands calloused by desire unfulfilled. And it’s a cycle, a failure turned inside out for God’s glory. Both part of an equation, of a longing that is deeper than today, this moment that ties us all to the frenzy of finding that perfect parking spot, close enough to where we want to be, but far enough away from others who might dent or scratch our exterior–the shell of how we want to be seen. Buffed to the shine for our own glory. When will we sing to God and not to man? How will we learn our part, take our place, fill our roles–stop preoccupying ourselves with the distraction of our performance, the carefully labeled parts that we put together with or without directions, stray bolts, screws, pieces missing, somehow managing to stand, to resemble the whole of what we were purchased with a price to become? These are all the same words, similar stories, rearranged to our tune, the tune that we know best, the one that we hum when we’re alone, the notes that have no place, wander around in our kitchen until they find their home in our hearts, in our minds these melodies to Jesus.

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