Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Heart of Worship

Every once in a while I hear a story I must pass on. Today, I'm proud to have my wife Rachel as a guest blogger. Enjoy!

I have a vivid remembrance of being in a church service standing next to my grandmother singing out of the old, musty hymnal. I remember the sound of her singing and how silly I thought she sounded because her voice was sort of high pitched and off key. But it didn’t stop her from singing out in a volume that I could hear quite well. If you’ve ever heard Olive Oil on the old Popeye cartoons, that might give you an idea of her singing voice. I loved her too much to say anything, but I had a hard time keeping my laughter in check. I must have only been about eight or nine years old, but I remember thinking, “why would she sing out when she has such a terrible voice?”

But today, God gave me a whole new vantage point to that memory. My Grandma Florence has always been a quiet woman, slow to speak and not at all confident of her abilities or wit. But one thing can be said about her; she is a woman in love with Jesus and her life has been given completely to service to him. I believe God’s chest swelled with pride and joy at the sound of her singing because her heart was totally given to him in worship and she was unafraid to sing praises to her Heavenly Father even though her talent didn’t measure up. To Him, her song was angelic because it was her heart he heard. God doesn’t ask for perfection…all he wants is our heart. The real, raw, off key beauty of it.

My Grandma had a stroke just after her 80th birthday and entered a nursing home a fraction of the person I've grown up knowing. I’d give almost anything to hear that crackly voice singing Amazing Grace. And one day soon, I’ll have my wish…