Why I Sing
I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately.
Those who know me, know that I am both a dreamer and a doer. I’m a take-charge kind of girl. I see something that needs to be done and I do it. This has helped me accomplish a lot of my dreams. This has also been an Achilles heel in my walk with God at times. You see, sometimes we get so caught up in the “doing” that we forget what birthed the dream in the first place.
Tragic events will force you to reflect on the “why.”
In the midst of promoting The Love Project and the excitement and fears that whirl around that, a dear friend and co-writer of mine lost 3 family members this past week. The Chicago-land community came around their family, raising $53,000 in support to help aid the financial burden of this tragedy[i]. So when you see something like that, it makes you question if the things you are working toward are of any importance at all. Because when you see that kind of love and support from human beings, from a community, from The Church, you see quickly that that is the perfect picture of us reaching our potential for what we were all meant to do; love.
The act of a community and the Church rallying around a family in the midst of such devastation is of such great importance that it makes one question if the impact on the world they are trying to make is significant. For me, I question if the impact I’m trying to make through music is.
It only took a couple of days and the honor of singing at the funeral service to be reminded again that, indeed, it is meaningful.
You see, we all play a part in this world. We were all put here for a purpose. And when we work together and each share our gifts and talents, we make up a beautiful mosaic, fulfilling our collective purpose for existence.
A couple weekends ago I had the privilege of leading worship and speaking at a Women’s Retreat. The main speaker for the event, Jackie Roese, taught from Matthew 25:14-30 on the Parable of the Talents. In her message she outlined everything we have been given from birth that could be considered a talent. Then she illustrated how each of these talents are like body parts, and if one body part is not fulfilling its purpose, not using its talent, the body can’t function properly.
Another couple of illustrations she gave were, if you are not the eye, people will never see Jesus’ tears, and if you are not the mouth, people will never hear His voice. I especially appreciated the former as my parents have affectingly called me “Jeremiah The Weeping Prophet” for years. Though I kid about my talent for crying being one of my spiritual gifts, I know it is through this gift, this talent that I have the ability to not only mourn with people who are hurting and broken, but also show people my hurts, and expose the reality of my struggles, like depression.
But I also appreciated the reminder that if you were placed here to be Jesus’ mouth and you refuse to speak…or sing, people will not hear of His love. When reflecting on why God has given us each different talents in the first place, Tim Keller says it best in his sermon, “The Cost of Mission:”
God will never bless you except to make you to be a blessing for somebody else. That’s how you know you’re dealing with the real God and not a figment of your imagination. You become a man or a woman in mission.
So, you see, every body part is crucial. We are all needed to function properly.
And I get it, sometimes it’s scary to step out and claim, “Yes, I am Jesus’ hand, I am Jesus’ feet, I am Jesus’ mouth.” Putting yourself out there is risky. Being transparent is scary. Sharing your heart is downright terrifying. But that is what we are called to do.
When you are working hard to do something great, to break away from the mold and change the world, when you put yourself out there and say, “This is me, take it or leave it,” you will face resistance. There will be people that won’t like you or what you have to say, or find something about you to find fault it. There will be people that will doubt you and let you know they do. So when this moment comes, you will have to stand and say, “The cause is greater than the resistance.” You will have to stand firm in your purpose, stand firm in the hope and promise of the reward God has for those who diligently work to further His Kingdom, and stand firm in the knowledge that you are making a difference.
2 Corinthians 6:8 “magically” showed up in my inbox last night, and it speaks truer to the cause of the Christian life than I ever could:
We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors.[ii]
God didn’t make us who we are to hoard it or hide it, or to live in fear of the rejection or the name-calling that could ensue if we show the world our light. No, we were created to be lamps, cities on hills that shine bright for the world to see.[iii]
I sing because this is so much bigger than me.
I sing because it’s so much more than music.
I sing to make the name of Jesus famous and to help those who are lost, find Him.
That is why I sing.
[ii] New Living Translation. Bible Gateway. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
[iii] Matthew 5:14-16, New International Version. Bible Gateway. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.