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Friday, October 06, 2006

Learning to sing.....in Harmony

I was a closet karaoke queen, long before karaoke was ever invented.

It started in elementary school. Where we started to sing in unison. BORING....... unison singing was just plain boring. I wanted to make music, not noise with a bunch of little kids. (Somehow I missed that I was a noisy little kid...) But I practiced. I screeched and sang in my bedroom, seriously intent on being noticed above the unison fray. (Maybe we all did the same thing... maybe thats exactly why we were so very BAD!)

I wasn't discovered, but I didn't give up. I got older- and moved my "studio" to the basement.

I spent (way too many) long hours in there, in the unfinished basement, or our ranch house. FYI- basements have great natural concrete sound bouncing reverb, especially if your singing sounds like an injured animal.) I belted out "Helen Reddy" tunes. (Delta Dawn was a favorite)
(my mom's 8 tracks- she had quite a collection... mostly pmsy sounding 70's woman music- well that and Johnny Mathis- LOTS of Johnny Mathis)

Until the 80's, when I got my first WALK MAN. Thats when I started singing my own
tunes.... Cyndi Lauper had nothin on me, I'll tell you! (And yes- everyone sounds great if you are
wearing headphones- and can't hear yourself;) I was sure I would be "discovered".

I am so glad that those hours and hours spent singing and dancing my heart out- took place below ground level! I'm sure the neighbors were unknowingly relieved, too.

I dreamed of singing onstage. I had no idea how bad I was.

My (pathetic) singing, eventually escaped the basement. I joined, (yes, I really did) CHOIR. My dreams of solo singing went un-fulfilled. (I was more of a "mostly"on key, but not really great tone quality, kind of girl. I did sing one solo song in a concert.... but that was enough for all of us;)

I could read music, I could hold a part, but solo singer? I was not. (and never will be;)

I learned the joy and necessity of harmony.

WOW. What a difference. Even my small pathetic voice- could be a part of a great sounding harmony.

In a nutshell.... harmony is when a number of people are singing the same song, while at the same time, they are each singing individual, and often times different, notes. The music blends to create one "harmonious" sound. Much richer and more beautiful than the unison music we'd done in elementary school, or the basement re-verb I experimented with so often.

Harmony.

As a Christian, I think I've sometimes confused God's desire for us to live in harmony, with as though- in order to be singing the same song, we must be singing in unison.

The same note at the same time. As though living in harmony should be some kind of lock step russian soldier march...

1 Peter 3:8-9

"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing."

What if God understands harmony? What if God isn't calling us to live in unison, but in harmony with each other? Now- don't get me wrong- we absolutely must be singing the same song.

The Gospel of the one and only way to heaven, the Risen Christ.

That's the song. No negotiating there. But, what if there are a number of different notes that are to be played? At the same time? Creating a harmony of faith.

There are lots of issues that divide and separate Christians. I wonder what would happen if we spent more time working on harmonies. Instead of practicing for our solos.

Maybe the world would hear our song, and respond, to the beauty of God's orchestration, if we learned to hold our own notes- without overtaking the notes of others.

Sure- there will be clinkers along the way. Notes that need to be refined- retuned, or removed, because they are not singing the same song. They strike a discord.

But- I gotta believe- the same God who created the universe, with all it's diversity and varied beauty, sun and shadow, texture and sound, would he really prefer a unison chant? Or a Harmonious song?

I don't have the answers to where the lines are- I don't write the music- I just do my best to hold my note.... But- I know who does...

Let's pray....


Dear lord- I pray for your wisdom, I pray for your Spirit, to fill us with an understanding of what are dischordant notes, and what are notes of the same song- sung in harmony. I pay that the Body of Christ would love each other- and learn to sing in harmony- each one holding the part you've given them, while blending with the notes of others- I pray that we would be wise as serpents and gentle as doves... that we would know where to draw lines and where to respect differences- I love you Lord- amen.


Something I heard, has had me thinking about this----

Imago Dei Podcast--- Symmetrical Expression Of Christ-

A great podcast to listen too--- you don't need an ipod.... just listen on your computer;) click the link to hear;)



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