The speakers on stage – as big as house doors – pump the baseline so hard that I can feel my ribs vibrate with each beat. Always a sucker for percussion, I am bouncing slightly with each perfect, deliberate fall of the sticks upon snare.
Melodies, streaming from the lead guitar, make me move against my will in the way that only a middle-aged white woman can manage; with certain awkwardness, but I don’t care. Move anyway, my spirit tells me, and I obey because sometimes my spirit knows what to do.
And then she sings.
Her voice, raised in worship, is flawless. It rises and falls in perfect synchronization with the music and it doesn’t struggle with highs or lows but surfs on the notes, catching the perfect wave every time. She is worshiping God with all she has, and I know he is pleased.
He created her ability to sing with seemingly effortless ability to share it with the world, and she – beautiful and at peace with her eyes closed on stage – has mesmerized us all with her gifts. With her obedience.
My voice has the potential to traumatize…not mesmerize.
When I get to heaven, I want to be able to sing like she does. Or like Queen Latifa. Or maybe Joss Stone.
But who knows?
Maybe by that time I will be at peace enough with my own gifts to keep from envying those of others. I’m not proud that I sometimes covet the talents of others, but it burrows into my mind sometimes before I have the chance to rebuke it.
Music is one of my very favorite ways in which God spoils us all. It was created by him to give us another tool to glorify him (and sometimes just to get jiggy with it) and I wish I was as good at making it as I am to listening to it.
We don’t get to choose the gifts we are given, but we do have the choice to use what we have – or to keep it to ourselves. It can be difficult to share our talents. I know that the truth is that the singer at my church practices often, that her synchronization is perfected not only by gifting, but by a perfecting process. Effortlessness is not what she strives for; worship is.
We all have different gifting, different processes. God is pleased when we use our talents to bring other hurting people to Him, no matter what that talent may be. And those “what if’s”?
What if I use my talents and fail, and the whole world laughs at me?
What if it’s just too hard?
Move anyway, my spirit tells me and I obey, waves of words cresting within me.
Because even though I cannot carry a tune, sometimes my spirit knows what to do.