When was the last time you sang at the top of your lungs? Without any care of how you sound, whether you hit all the right notes, or find all of the right words? My guess is that for most people, such unabashed singing happens only in the safety and privacy of the solitude.
We have lived in our home for a little more than two years now, and just this morning, I discovered how great our acoustics are for singing at the top of your lungs. Maybe I've done it here before, but I haven't noticed. Andy is working on the roof of our nursery' worker's home, and I am getting ready for a stint next week as a preaching coach in Louisville. Ok, I am getting ready, but admittedly, I was on facebook, twitter, and setting up my foursquare account.
One of my facebook friends put as his status some lines to the song, "The Story." I was introduced to this song earlier this year when Grey's Anatomy did the musical episode, and Sara Ramirez sang a powerful version of this at the climax of the episode. It is a song appropriate for belting. After I saw it for the first time, I listened to it over and over on YouTube - both Sara's version and the original, by Brandi Carlile. I think it is a beautiful song - a song of appreciation for the one or the ones with whom we share our deepest loves and stories.
After seeing the lyrics on facebook, I sang the song at the top of my lungs, and afterwards, I felt as if I had just had a good, hearty laugh, or perhaps a long-needed cry. Music is powerfully cathartic. When I play piano (which I need to do more!) I find the same release. Music is also formational. When I sing or listen to love songs like "The Story," I am filled with a deeper love and appreciation for my husband. When my sister calls me, my phone plays a special ringtone, saying that we can always count on each other - a friendship that will never end, and each time I hear it, my bond to her feels stronger.
A friend who is working in a ministry position that is very heavily administrative said that her colleagues know when she is working on her sermon or planning a service, because they can hear her singing down the hall. When she works on the heavy paperwork of human resources, which consumes most of her time, she is silent.
It's a bit simplistic, but I think the world would be a better place, and we would be better people, if we took more time in our lives to sing. Indeed, to sing is to pray twice. Amen!