Sunday, April 19, 2009


Have you ever sang a song in church and a couple minutes later you realize you sang the entire song and never thought about it? Your mind was thinking about lunch, or the vocal tone of the person next to you, or perhaps things that you have to get done that day? I cannot even begin to count how many times I have sung song after song, set list after set list and finished it and thinking, "What song did I just sing?" I hate that feeling! I'm just unconsciously singing songs to God. I wouldn't blame Him if He wasn't even listening cause after all, I'm not really singing to Him, I'm not singing to anyone...

Last Sunday was Easter, and it was a lovely day. I was asked to join the choir and sing for 4 services Easter morning. For weeks we had practiced the same songs over and over again and tried to get them nailed down just right. Come Easter Sunday we were all ready and has memorized every word of every song. The first service was good, but kinda hard cause it was 6 in the morning and we were still waking up. Then the second service came and we were more awake and comfortable. Then the third service came and we were tired of singing the same songs. We were ready for Easter to be over and we still had to finish 3rd and 4th service.
When the 3rd service had started, after singing the first song and thinking about something that had nothing to do with Easter, there was something at the corner of my eye that had caught my attention. There, on the floor was a man standing with his back against the stage and moving his hands. I thought, "Oh how strange! What is this man doing?" It didn't take me too long to figure out that he was interpreting the songs to people in sign language. He was there for a deaf man and his deaf wife (or perhaps girlfriend, I don't know and it doesn't matter) and was interpreting the entire service for them - from worship, to announcements, to the message. I don't know what it is but there is something so fascinating about sign language to me. I used to know a lot of it but I have lost my knowledge of it over the years.

Anyways, as the worship service progressed I watched this young couple watch this man interpret every word that was sung. They watched him so intensely as to not miss a single word. Then it hit me... I realized that, unlike me just singing a song and not even paying attention to what I am singing, this couple saw and knew every single word that was in that song. They watched for it, they saw it, they interpreted it, and somehow in their hearts they turned it into their own worship to the Lord. Their disability made them have to see each word, not just unconsciously sing them and not know the words that are coming out of their mouth, but to actually know and pay attention to every word.

Wow! How convicted did I feel! Here I am, in front of thousands of people and I am singing songs that I don't really care what the words are saying at that moment cause I would rather think about homework, or plans I have, or eating something. Then there was this beautiful couple who care so much what every word is to a worship song that they cannot seem to stray their eyes off of the lyrics and onto something else. The singers didn't take away their attention. The guitars and the drums didn't distract them. The group of choir people didn't faze them. They were there to worship God and they were just focused on that alone. I felt so convicted. Not only am I a worship leader, but also I have been so blessed with the gift of hearing. I can hear and appreciate a beautiful melody behind deep and powerful lyrics that I can sing to my Savior. But I act as though its nothing. I forget Who I am singing to and Who gave me the gift to hear and vocalize my love towards.

As I felt the knife dig into my heart, our last song starting. This song has always caught my attention every time it is sung and I cannot help but stop and listen to the words every time I hear it. I asked myself, "Why can't I be like this with every song that I sing?" I don't know the answer to that. But as this song started and the first verse went into the chorus, I looked over at this couple down below and there were tears streaming down the man's face and he was following the hand motions the interpreter was doing. He was singing with his hands, the only way he knew how to sing, and He knew each and every word that was being sung and he knew how much they meant to him as he stood there crying. These words were all he had in order to have a time of "worship" with God. His heart was there to worship the Lord and he was focused on that.

I couldn't hold back tears as I watched the beauty of this man worshiping his God. How precious he must be to the Lord! How beautiful is his heart towards worship! I am brought to a place of humility because of this man. I am not the one who deserves a voice and to be able to hear, he is! But that is not what the Lord has done. That is not how He created me or this couple. Now, I praise God physically, spiritually, and mentally because He has given me the gift of hearing. I can hear and sing along with a worship team. I can listen to the music and let the Lord speak to me though instruments playing. I am so thankful for this man and his wife. I pray to have a heart of worship like them...

Here are the words to that song I spoke of. I encourage you to read them, they are wonderful words and I hope they encourage you somehow today...

Jesus Paid It All
Kristian Stanfill

I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power in Thine alone
Can change the leper's spots
And melt the heart of stone

Now when before the throne
I stand in Him complete
"Jesus died my soul to save"
My lips shall still repeat

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow

Oh praise the One who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead
Oh praise the One who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead


Rambling Robot said...

Very touching story. It is so easy to lose sight of what we are actually singing and what each word means. Good post.

GeorgiaDes said...

It's crazy how worship can become such a routine. It's a beautiful thing to meditate on the lyrics and focus on the meaning. Wonderful Adrie.