I sang today.
I died today.
It was the usual… broken, floppy notes and harsh, dangling entries but I did it with all I had in me. I enjoyed every single moment of it, until I stepped back at the end and looked out at the many people.
‘God, why? Why did you call, of all people, the one with the weakest vocals to do this for you?’ I sobbed inwardly. It’s so hard to feel so stripped and exposed in the weaknesses of my voice each time I step out on the platform. There is no greater vulnerability for me, than being out there. This was, and still is, a constant refrain in my life.
Years ago, I asked the Dream Maker, ‘When can I finally do it well? When will the improvement come?’
‘Will you do it still? Even if your voice sounds this way forever? If I can use it and anoint it, are you willing to let your brokenness be used?’ He asked me back.
Silent, I battled with my foolish pride. Then I let it die. ‘Yes… I will do it. If it means that You always get all the glory, I will.’
Since that day, I watched how God took the broken pieces of what I can offer and used it to fulfill whatever He wanted to do in each service. It’s an amazing experience. Today was no different.
‘Hey…’ one of the singers walked up to me, with tears in her eyes. ‘That was beautiful worship. I know you sometimes feel shortchanged about your voice but I always look forward to your leading and today, it was amazing. I just wanted you to know that you need not ever feel discounted because of what you lack. What you bring to the platform is precious.’
Then at the end of the service, Bob Fitts and his wife walked up to me.
‘I just wanted to say… that was awesome. The presence…’ he trailed off with a smile and a shake of the head.
‘You were gorgeous, so beautiful! Everything about you was so beautiful to watch,’ his wife continued.
I was overwhelmed. This was the man whose recordings I grew up with. I still had his cassette tapes as they meant so much to me. Every song, every line of his was deeply etched in memory. The dreams I had were first fashioned by him and his ministry, and now, here he was, telling me he was touched. I didn’t know how to answer. I was overwhelmed.
The Dream Maker took my broken pieces and made something precious out of it all.
The crushed stem will not be broken by Him; and the feebly burning light will He not put out, till He has made righteousness overcome all.
– Matthew 12:20
When I forget there’s an audience and do it for the King, that’s me up there. Not performing, just praising my dearest Lover.
I watched the band play tonight. It was their reunion gig ten years after their split and the hubby was on drums. Listening to the familiar favourites, I was transported down the corridors of yesterday and was mesmerized by the guys. At the end of it all, I ran up to the bassist and gave him a huge hug.
‘I missed you so much!’ I squealed. And I did, truly. I hadn’t seen him in a decade as he had very purposefully removed himself from the scene after the band’s breakup.
‘Awww, really? Man, I was so nervous! I haven’t been on stage in ten years. I barely even knew what I was doing!’
‘No man… you belong up there, you really do.’ I said seriously. And I meant it. The stage was made for this guy. I have not ever seen another bassist do what he can with the guitar and told him so.
‘Why did you disappear after the band split?’ a reporter once asked the bassist.
‘The band was family to me. We were together for years and when they called it quits, I felt as though the family had quit on me.’
There were stories about why they split, and there were unfinished matters between some of the members but for the gig, they’d put aside all of it to perform. Tonight, the family was finally reunited and it felt so good.
Does the breaking of a performer make a better performance?
When a person walks out on stage knowing he has nothing left to offer, and chooses to give what is left in his hands – his heart… is that when the performance really matters?
Today was one filled with performances. And none of it, an act.