Now introducing members of our congregation as guest writers for this column! Questions or ideas? Contact Amy James, Director of Lay Ministry, email@example.com
When I Sing, I Sing For Two
I became part of the musical world when I was very little. I used to listen to my father’s choir rehearsing in our living room while crawling under everyone’s chair, though to be honest, my thoughts at that age were more geared toward grabbing the back of the sopranos’ ankles than taking in the beautiful music. Since then I have learned that there is a lot more to choir than grabbing unsuspecting ankles. In fact, there is a lot more to music than enjoying it. Music is an avenue through which one can develop intellectually, socially, and spiritually.
Music means something different for everyone. For a long time I resigned myself to telling others that I started off in choir because it was far easier to remember my instrument, or because it was far easier to receive an ‘A’ in choir than band or orchestra, but I knew I was not being real with them or myself. The truth is that singing holds a meaning to me far deeper than peripheral pleasantries or scholarly stimulation. When I sing, I sing for two.
Before I was brought into the world, my mother had another child who God decided to bring into His arms before I had a chance to meet him. His name is Bradford and he is my brother. At times of great happiness, like the euphoric end of a brilliantly sung concert, I wish for nothing more than to be able to be with him, to be able to talk to him about all of the excitement and joy of singing. Sometimes I blamed God for taking him away, and at other times I didn’t believe at all.
Times like that made me feel extremely vulnerable. His physical absence is a void that no one and nothing on this earth can fill. I thought that nothing would ever be a balm for my pain, but I was wrong. I can feel him when I sing, and that is surely divine. When I think of him, I know he is with God, and they are with me, and they make me strong. He is what drives me to be better, to strive for greatness, to love.
Even though I never knew him, I feel that I do now. He is with me in every concert, he laughs at me every time I make a mistake in a song, he cries, just like I do, when the music transports me to another place, a euphoric place. We weep for wonder wandering far alone, together.
Few people know this piece of my soul, because until now I have not felt ready to entrust anyone with my secret, my vulnerability. But not to do so is to hide who I am, and what exactly God means to me.
God has made me into a better person. He has given me a drive, a belief, and though He has not given me back my brother, I know that my brother is with me. God’s love has been revealed to me, not in the way that I expected, but in the way that I needed. I feel that everyone should devote themselves to God, in whatever way is right for them. God’s love is not conditional; it is not temporary. It is unrelenting and uncompromising. So should be our trust in Him.
Music is a balm to those who hurt. It is a prayer for those who are lost.
|Sean is a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead MN, where he majored in Psychology. When he is not singing in the Normandale Choir or Minnesota Choral Artists, he enjoys relaxing in coffee shops, exercising, and playing frisbee and tennis.|