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On the Side - May 2013

Dear Lord Jesus, Hear My Song...
by Sharon Chatwell

I was in church the other day (which of course is a good place to be if you are a Christian) and I was watching one of the guitarists, in the praise band, sing. I say that I was watching him sing, because I couldn't hear him sing ... because, you see, he had no microphone.

We attend a very large church and, like most large churches these days, it has an amazing praise band which leads the singing at the beginning of each service. It is made up of wonderfully talented singers and instrumentalists. There are several lead singers; one of whom actually has his own professional band ... occasionally, on Christian radio, I can even hear his voice singing to me at home or through the speakers in my little VW Beetle.

Although I don't know all of these musicians, I am sure that most of them sing fairly well; but, in the face of so much talent, it becomes necessary for some to be in the spotlight, while others stand in the semi-darkness and play the music.

On this particular day we were seated near the front of the auditorium, and as I stood and watched this man with the guitar, I realized that, although no one could hear him, he was still singing. He stood in the center of the stage surrounded by the other musicians. His guitar (one of several onstage) was hooked up to an amp and he was rocking the beat. Obviously a talented artist, he was helping to make music that lifted the hearts of the congregation heavenward.

And he was singing ... even though no one could hear him. No one, of course, but the One to whom he was singing. Jesus.

The guitarist's song seemed to come from his heart. The words must have resonated within his soul. He sang in the near darkness to the only One who could have possibly heard him. to the Lord, Jesus Christ. with joy, with passion, and with a thankful heart.

I wonder if he could even hear his own voice! With the pounding beat of the drums and the noise coming from the other instruments, it would have been practically impossible.

I know from experience that it's difficult to sing well, if you can't hear your own voice. I help co-host a gospel radio program on Sunday nights. The main host of our program has a lovely singing voice and knows all the words to the songs we play. While the music plays, and our microphones are off, he sings in a rich baritone to the chorus of each of his favorite hymns. But, if he forgets to take off his headphones, then he's not able to hear himself well, and he sings dreadfully off-key ... and usually very loudly so! ?

The producer of the program and I (thankfully the only other living souls in the radio station on those nights) just smile at each other knowingly and shake our heads. We've never had the heart to tell him. And who could say anything? This wonderful, old gentleman is singing from his heart to Jesus, who is truly the One and Only member of his audience.

All of this got me to thinking of my own song.

My days are busy. I do a lot of things. I have a husband and a large family to take care of, with a commensurate amount of responsibilities and duties.

In addition, I have ministries with which I'm involved, and these vary in their levels of responsibilities and activities. Through them I realize that I have an impact on a local, a national and ...yes... even an international level. These ministries require some attention on a daily basis, and could easily involve much more of my time. They occasionally seem "flashy" or "loud" perhaps like a big praise band playing before an audience of thousands.

But while these things are worthwhile and help other people learn about Jesus (and maybe even to accept Him as their Lord and Savior) I realize that I cannot let my own little voice get forgotten. While I was watching the man play the guitar, it came to me that the most important thing I do is to worship God with my own little voice.

No matter what else I am doing. No matter how "loud" and "flashy" it may seem. No matter how successful it is, or even who else is watching or being helped. My own little voice singing along is very important. Despite the clamor of all that's going on around me. my own little song of praise.

Dear Lord Jesus... Hear my song.
Thank you for loving me... thank you for coming for me... thank you for saving me...
As I sing on forever and ever and ever...

Sharon is a wife and a mom... and an above average singer... living in Lincoln, NE. She invites each of you to keep singing your own song to Jesus.