Can I be thoroughly honest here?
You won’t judge my frailty or vulnerability will you?
Will it change the way you see me?
Do I become a lesser person, if you know what I fear?
I was called in for a quick rehearsal with the girls, for a song that we need to perform two weeks later. I have not spent any time practicing nor developing my vocals this whole year, so I know that when it comes to singing, I am severely lacking. Which is one of the reasons why I was initially reluctant. True enough, whole solo sections were handed out to the other singers and I was given what I guess I do best, the harmony lines. The supporting act.
Add to that the fact that I’ll be leading the worship session that day, I am again, faced with this huge weakness that I have: in this team of singers… I can’t sing as well as them.
I can hold a melody line, and yes, they say that I am good at rhythm, but darn it, I can’t sing as well as they all do. So why am I here?
‘I wish I had what you have,’ Softspeaker said to me.
‘Wha… What in the world are you talking about?’ I asked her.
‘Your groove, your infectious ability to lead people to sing along with you, I wish I had that. Can you help me?’ She smiled.
This is the girl I first heard singing when I came to church more than ten years ago. She was the one I saw leading people… whose voice could reach the hardest of hearts and melt them with her song. When I first began singing in the team, I did my best to imitate her, to sing like her, to blend with her. And she was asking me for help?
‘Babe, I wish I could sing like you…’ I trailed off.
‘Funny huh…’ she mused. ‘We fail to recognize our place in the team. We forget that each of us brings something special, something that no one else can replace. And we long for what others have, ignoring what we have. We fail to realise that we’re contributors too.’
Yes. She was right. In my pity-party, I was overwhelmed by my lack and couldn’t see beyond myself to the truth that it didn’t matter how little I think I have, I still have something precious that I can give. This thought plainly boggles my mind because when I listen back to my recordings, all I can do is cringe.
‘Why are we so pathetically small-minded?’ I wondered as I walked out of rehearsals. ‘Why do I look at myself when really, it’s not about me?’ I was slightly irritated with my pride.
Alone, I sighed. ‘Here you go, Lord. It’s little, it’s all I have.’
And I could almost here the gentlest of whispers in my ears saying, ‘Thank you. It’s all I need.’
I am humbled.
Bob Dylan (featured above) was never known to have a good singing voice. If anything, they described his nasal tones and sandpaper voice as almost grating. Still, he won millions of fans with his passion and lyrical song-writing. His recent album showed more of his lack in vocal prowess (due to age, I figure) but he keeps at what he’s doing, and he’s recognized for that.
‘Have you ever written a song?’ Smiley asked me.
Yes, I have done that. One actually was recorded and funnily, I tried to hide that fact from him.
‘Why? Why won’t you tell me where it’s been recorded?’ he asked.
Honestly? Oh, it’s going to hurt to be this truthful but it’s because it came from the heart. And if someone judges the song… I feel almost as if they are judging… me – in my most vulnerable of moments.
I thought about it though, on my way home. The fear of not being accepted. The fear of my weaknesses on display for the world. The fear of being… not good enough.
‘If it’s not good enough for you, will you give it to me?’ I heard the Dream Maker ask. ‘Because to Me, it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve heard. You are the most beautiful thing to me.’
And I crumbled.
The song doesn’t belong to me. It never did. It’s a mere tool of passion, that hopefully, will continue to touch the random listener one night, in a deep, quiet moment.
The singing doesn’t belong to me. It never did. It’s a mere tool for Him to use, at any level.
Am I willing to lose control of these elements – whether they fail or succeed – and to release them wholly into His hands?
I smile as He takes my hand.
‘Dear god, I do.’