Last Sunday we went to an old fashioned hymn sing. It was fun and stretching. It’s been a good long time since I sat in a Soprano section and forced my voice into some of those other-worldly octaves. Oh but it was fun. Singing those old songs, the ones that we just all know for some reason. Beautiful to hear all those voices blending and lifted up. Right away we sang How Great Thou Art, my Papa’s favorite song, which got me a little choked up. Then we moved on to a song where I can’t help but change some of the words into almost naughty ones thanks to my friend, Deana from high school (bring forth the royal diaphragm…)
Then we turned the page, and there she was, The Lord Bless you and Keep you, Oh dear. I blinked back tears. Our last Sunday in Michigan Bethany, Beki, and their mom sang a version of this song, in sweet tight harmony. It touched me then and it touches me now just thinking of it. A blessing sung over us, by women that I felt so close to I occasionally forgot I wasn’t actually a member of their family. And here I was singing it thousands of miles away in a different time zone and I could not separate their love from the words blurring in front of me.
I cried all the way home.
The next day their grandmother passed away. And all I wanted was to be there by their side. To give them hugs, and bake them cookies, and to sing a blessing over them in their heartache. I do sing it in my prayers, here. I hope that it wings it’s way to them in their sadness, I hope it brings them peace.
Music is such a powerful thing. What other art form is there, where you might click on the radio and be reduced to tears over Eye of the Tiger. Just a snippet of a song can send us back to our childhoods, or high school days, or to that date where we first realized we loved the person holding our hand. Songs that are hundreds of years old bonding us all together. Each melody carrying with it memories from all across the centuries, from hearts like mine and yours. People that loved, and lost and felt the bitter of pains of this world, and the glorious beauty and joy.
It’s why we keep singing and making music and remembering the old tunes that touched our hearts.
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord lift his countenance upon you
and give you peace,
and give you peace.
The Lord make His face to shine upon you
and be gracious unto you,
(and) be gracious,
The Lord be gracious, gracious unto you.