Do you hear what I hear?
I wish you could have.
Heard what I heard.
*the earthy and gutsy voice of Anne Cochran.
*the pure and tranquil voice of Canadian sensation Mark Masri.
*the raw, unedited, yet perfectly tuned six-string electric violin belonging to Tracy Silverman.
*the rich and full orchestration of the accompanying North Carolina Symphony Orchestra.
To give words to such an event risks lessening the experience, but I thought I should try … at least in part.
Last evening’s “night on the town” was a gift to me. One I had been planning for months. I am a Jim Brickman fan. His music takes me places. His artistry is a rare gift. A mix of God-given talent coupled with a willingness to tend to that gift. And when the two merge as one, when the divine enabling mixes with the fleshly obedience, the result is breathtaking. Life changing. The stuff of kingdom living as it was meant to breathe and to walk on this side of eternity.
Thus, when I heard that Jim would be performing nearby, I purchased four tickets. Two for Billy and me. Two for my parents. A surprise for the people who know me best and who, perhaps, love me the most. Some pauses are worth the pocketbook, friends. Last night was one of them.
From the first note on the keyboard, to the final bow of our host, I sat spellbound. Perched on the edge of my expectation, I could have lingered for hours. The Christmas carols were in full bloom, along with some of Mr. Brickman’s most endearing melodies. Two hours and a few tissues later, it was over.
Still and yet, the music and the memory lingers.
The totality of participating in something far grander than my limited attempts at living accordingly is worth the pennies that I pinched to take me there. To see and to hear the fullness of artistry in motion and in living color is a rare and precious privilege for this home-spun girl clothed with a heart full of dreams and a past full of heartaches.
Last night was about believing. About recapturing the hope that scripts my heart with the truth that my life was meant to sing its worth, even as it has for my new musical friends. And while I don’t know where they are in their faith journeys … if they even understand from where their giftedness roots … I believe they have some inclination.
Who can sing the witness of the Savior’s birth while harboring the totality of darkness within? At least they were willing to allow their gifts–their voices and their instruments–to be the stage for the Song of the season.
The Christ Child. The Joy to the world. The Hark behind the angels voices. The Babe of the silent night. The most important Gift under our trees and upon his own this Christmas season.
As Christians, we all house the immortal, invisible, highest ranking and soul-changing Spirit of this living Gift. He makes his humble home within our feeble flesh. It doesn’t make sense. Doesn’t seem right; still and yet, he has allowed his musical score its voice via ours.
Through our songs. Our words. Our pens. Our work. Our homes. Our churches. Our kindnesses. Our love.
Regardless of your capacity to carry a tune or to play an instrument, your Father has endowed you with a gifting all your own. Yours doesn’t necessarily look like mine, and mine? Well it’s taken me the better part of forty-two years to be settled on the fact that mine doesn’t have to voice like yours.
As children, created in the image of the Most High God, we house the seeds of eternity within (Ecc. 3:11). And when those seeds are coupled with our willingness to tend to this unmerited yet freely given divine favor, the results are breathtaking. Life changing. The stuff of kingdom living as it was meant to breathe and to walk on this side of eternity.
Do you hear what I hear? Greater still, are you walking the truth of that hearing? I wish that you would. It is your privilege to do so. It is mine, also. Thus, may we all endeavor to walk the obedience of such a sacred listening.
God continues to write his musical score through the likes of you and me. And that, my friends, is the best Gift of Christmas we will unwrap in this and in every season of our lives. As always,