Saturday, August 21, 2010

How Shall We Sing the Lord's Song?

How Shall We Sing the Lord's Song?

By the waters of Babylon,
there we sat down and wept,
when we remembered Zion.
On the willows there
we hung up our lyres.
For there our captors
required of us songs,
and our tormentors, mirth, saying,
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

How shall we sing the Lord's song
in a foreign land?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
let my right hand forget its skill!
Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth,
if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
above my highest joy!

I have a harp which I love and which I have played regularly in the past. My mother and dad found me a teacher when I was a child of ten, chubby, awkward and easily terrorized. This renown and fabulous musician was not the teacher for me. She made me quake in lessons and I could never practice hard or long enough. I played for a while and then picked up a guitar which I taught to myself and played with my friends. The harp has always been with me. When we lived in Delaware, I started lessons with another fabulous musician who was a wonderful teacher. I grew as a musician under his gentle tutelage and gained confidence all along. It felt as if God was singing and playing through me and it felt like praise at all times, even when I was struggling to learn.When we moved to Virginia, my life got very busy and I haven't played it regularly since. Maybe those seemed like foreign lands and I struggled with how to play and sing. But now, being back to my home town after so many years, there is still the internal resistance to play with commitment and confidence. We can feel like strangers when things change, when we grow older, when lives are different...and yet David the harp player and singer extraordinaire reminds us that we are called to sing God's praises where every we are and use the instruments we have to bring music and love to the world.

Today, I pray that I can live as David, seeking in strange times and in hard places to use the talents and gifts I have to honor God and the people to whom I have been given. In these times where everything is measure by lack, may I be an instrument of God's abundance and joy.

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