Friday, November 19, 2010

Church song for a mother

The past two days I have taken a little bit of time here and there to sit down, pick up a hymnal, and sing a couple of songs. This evening while I sang one song Teresa was climbing and hugging on me and I received the grace to connect the words of the song with my relationship with my daughter.

The song is "The Servant Song" by Richard Gillard (1977):

Brother, let me be your servant
(alternate text: Will you let me be your servant)
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace
To let you be my servant, too

We are pilgrims on a journey
We are brothers (trav'llers) on the road
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load

I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the night-time of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you
Speak the peace you long to hear

I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh I'll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we've seen this journey through

When we sing to God in heaven
We shall find such harmony
Born of all we've known together
Of Christ's love and agony

Brother, let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace
To let you be my servant, too

The Holy Spirit used that moment to remind me that I am to be my child's servant, to be Christ for her. When she is afraid, I can share the light of Christ with her. When she is upset, I can bestow His peace. We're on the Christian journey together, sharing our joys and sorrows, learning from each other and eagerly anticipating our reunion in Heaven. That's just awesome. Lord, help me to remember and to live this!

Music (and especially singing) have played a huge part in my spiritual growth over the years; I loved "praise and worship" at my high school youth group and college campus ministry meetings; I sang in the Chapel Choir at my college, the music ministry in my NJ prayer community, and my parish choir here in Charlotte for a year before our marriage. Since then, well, I've slowly but surely sung less and less. I've pulled out my guitar maybe 3 times in the past 2 years. And our parish has transitioned to almost entirely chant during its liturgies - sacred and lovely, yes, but not singable for the people in the pew.

My spirituality/prayer life has really suffered in direct correspondence with this lack of singing. Sometimes I feel that I don't have half the vibrant faith I had 4 or 5 years ago. Perhaps it's all part of the maturing process, or perhaps I need to do whatever it takes to revitalize my faith ASAP. Singing like this (casual, no pressure, with heart open to God in prayer) is a step in the right direction; perhaps daily song should be my Advent practice.

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