I was surprised by my tears. Recently we gathered for worship for the first time since COVID-19 sent us scurrying into our homes for shelter and safety. We stayed in “social distance” mode so we didn’t hug, though many of us desired to. We sat in family units and kept ourselves six feet apart. But we laughed – a lot. And we enjoyed seeing one another’s three-dimensional faces! And for the first time in months, we sang without muting ourselves. We no longer had to concern ourselves with the time delay on Zoom. Here, in the back yard with our tribe, we sang… together… in harmony.
Without any warning they came. My tears streamed out because this is when I am most enveloped in worship. When there are voices all around me working together to make the most beautiful sound possible. Harmony. There was not one voice fighting against another… instead, each one was trying not to step on another. Each one, trying to “fit” in the spaces that weren’t yet filled so that our worship would be full and complete. I was overwhelmed by this chorus of friends who live and labor alongside one another every day.
In that moment, I recognized something greater. I realized that we do our day-to-day work this way too. We are unique individuals who have come to the table with our own passions, gifts, missions, and callings. We have also come with our own stories, skin color, cultural histories, languages, and desire to see God’s kingdom on earth as it is and will be in heaven.
Many times in the world and even in the church, these things cause division and strife. But we have chosen to listen to each other’s voices and to “fit” in the spaces that need to be filled in order to make a more beautiful sound among the nations. We delight as the choir grows, adding new sounds and new perspectives. It is an uncommon harmony that our world needs. Yes, there are times when the notes bumping into each other cause a dissonance as we try to figure out what is best for this work in this time. But there is a beauty and a relief even in the resolve. I am grateful to work with people who love the harmony and work to create a more pleasing work of art to bring God glory.
Where are the places that are out of tune in your world? Where are the places where the voices need to listen to one another and come together in harmony? Would you pray blessing and peace into those places? Would you be willing to bring your voice to the table to help create a song that is sweet in our Father’s ear?
[written by Becky Thurman]