A Child learns to Sing
This morning at church we sang "Have Thine Own Way" #504 in the Mennonite song book Hymnal a Worship Book. As the hymn started and voices were raised I was transported back 53 years attending church with Aunt Marjorie at her rural Brethren in Christ Church.
The sound of shoes on hardwood flooring as the congregation gets ready to stand and of wooden benches moving under the relief of people standing.
The smell of wood polish and stale air escaping through windows only opened on Sunday morning. The hint of moth balls on clothing only brought out for Sunday service, weddings and funerals. The absence of the smell of human sweat and other body smells, all bodies washed and polished for this event.
The sound of a pitch pipe, a mass intake of breath and a sacred pause. Then the sound of 20 to 50 voices raised in common praise and a spontaneous smile on a child's face. I do the unthinkable I stand on the wooden bench, I want to be part of this.
The sound is not in adherence to the notes on the page rather the music is unique and created through the out pouring of love escaping the hearts of the singers.
I add my voice to this choir of human love.
Aunt Marjorie reaches down and takes my hand. I look up into her face. Wisps of her white blond hair have escaped her covering and are caught in the sunlight streaming through the church windows. It creates a halo around her face. In that moment I knew in my spirit that singing transforms us into human angels. Aunt Marjorie smiles at me turns and continues to sing her love of her Creator.
I lift my head and confidently add my voice to this choir of human angels, I am 5 years old and this is my first conscious memory of singing in an adult service.
Thank you Lord for the gift of this memory forgotten until this morning.