A memory from four years ago. I’m happy to say that she’s still singing; I pray she never stops.
She sits close to me tonight. Closer than usual. Sometimes, on some Wednesday nights, I can tell her mind is elsewhere. Those times, she’s not enclosed within the four walls of this church. She’s running free.
But tonight she leans in close. It’s not that she’s snuggling (which she also does sometimes) it’s more that she’s just … leaning. For a minute, I can’t figure out why. But then I catch the faint sound of her voice imitating mine. She’s leaning in to hear my harmony.
I don’t say anything. I just lean into her right back. And I raise my voice a notch. My soprano-preferring daughter has accepted the fact that God gave her an alto voice — a pure, lovely, enviable alto voice. And tonight, apparently, she has set herself to learning.
We sing about God’s fame, and then about His faithfulness. We remind ourselves that He’s eternal, and good, and ready to save. And then we sing about the journey of life, and the fact that He saved us from a lot of pain and ugliness.
In all the right places, my daughter listens, learns, and then sings. And I’m aware that this half-hour of worship is a metaphor for an even bigger truth. When the music fades away and the teaching is over and we turn off the lights in this room, this girl will continue to watch, and listen, and imitate what she sees in me.
Father, help me fill her life with Your song.
* * *
I was doubling over
The load on my shoulders
Was a weight I carried with me every day
Crossin’ miles of frustrations and rivers a ragin’
Pickin’ up stones I found along the way
I staggered and I stumbled down pathways of trouble
I was haulin’ those souvenirs of misery
And with each step takin’ my back was breakin’
Til I found the one who took it all from me.
Down by the riverside (Down by the riverside)
I laid my burdens down, now I’m travelin’ light
My spirit lifted high (I found my freedom now)
I found my freedom now, and I’m travelin’ light
Through the darkest alleys and loneliest valleys
I was draggin’ those heavy chains of doubt and fear
Then with one word spoken the locks were broken
Now He’s leading me to places where there are no tears