Singing Out Loud
Updated: Mar 11
Most people don’t know this, but back in the day, I provided vocals for dozens of recording artists like James Taylor, Elvis Costello, Boston, and the Police.
People don’t know because these collaborations always took place in the privacy of my bedroom or car.
Most of us don’t have a problem singing a tune when we think we are alone.
How many times have you seen the driver next to you singing his heart out?
You laugh, but do you know how many times you were caught?
In our line of work, Yesenia and I get to visit many churches.
All of them provide music, sometimes just one leader of worship singing along with a karaoke to some very large and polished worship bands you can find on Spotify.
My favorite experience is still the first Guatemalan church I visited- Fuente de Vida in San Lucas Toliman.
They feature a six-piece band and a bevy of singers that can take the roof off the place.
No group inspires me to sing louder than our friends at Fuente de Vida Church.
Of course, the only thing easier than singing in private is singing along with enough people to drown out a flat note or two.
God blessed some of our brothers and sisters with golden voices, always ready to sing.
While Yesenia ranks among those so gifted, God chose not to bless me in such a way.
When I sang with our small church, I always thought my voice was effectively shielded by the others.
But one day, Yesenia mentioned how clearly she could hear me from up front.
She quickly regretted the comment when I asked her how I sounded.
Bless Yesenia’s heart, she only gave a short nervous laugh before assuring me that I sounded “alright… really!”
But her response made me worry about my crackling voice and I stopped singing for a while.
Then I met “Millie” (not her real name) at another local church we attend on occasion.
Let’s just say Millie is significantly less blessed than most of us when it comes to belting a tune.
But Millie sings whenever she can, and as loud as she can, without a thought about our reaction.
She never skips an opportunity to sing to the Lord- alone, in a big service, or with just a handful of people.
And the more I hear her sing, the more wonderful she sounds to me.
When her voice reaches Heaven, I am sure it sounds like a beautiful choir of angels.
Millie helped me realize a missed note or an occasional crack means little when it comes to praising God.
Lifting my voice became as natural as saying “Thank you, God” for all of his gifts.
Of course, singing in church is only one way to praise the Lord.
We should be comfortable showing our faith and sharing Jesus’ love in any form.
Some of us enjoy a life where displaying Christianity includes grand productions like feeding his children or answering the call of disaster victims.
Other folks read the Bible and talk with Jesus in private moments, content Jesus knows their heart.
But all of us have an abundance of public opportunities to praise Jesus by showing His love, even if most of them seem routine.
Sure, you can hand sandwiches or socks to homeless people or travel on a short-term mission trip.
But smiling at strangers, holding a door, stifling a criticism, or letting someone into your traffic lane count, too.
And if people ask why you are nice, just tell them Jesus kind of expects it from us.
Because every time you invoke Jesus’ name into a display of His Love, I am sure Heaven hears another beautiful choir of angels.
Someday, we each might have to defend our faith or make an argument for Jesus.
And I believe making the most of small chances to be like Jesus prepares us for bigger moments to come.
Because all of us are blessed with some type of voice, as cracked or as golden as it might be.
And it would be a shame not to use it.