March 1, 2021

It is possible—perhaps human nature, even—to go quite some time forgetting parts of oneself that used to be deeply ingrained in the soul. That is what music is for me. Here in my “responsible” adulthood, I spend my days working long days, hitting the road at 7:00 in the morning and not leaving work until 6:00 most days. This world is a new one to me: a world where the urgent needs of the medical world mean that you do not simple decide that the work day is done and the time to go home has come. No—for here the needs pile up, one on top of the other, so that hours pass in a blur; and, just because you’re tired and your feet hurt and your brain is fuzzy, does not mean that anyone is going to say, “Hey—you need a break. You’ve worked a long day. Go home . . . “ No. More likely, you will simply be handed another task—another request. So you greet another patient. You take vitals. You test urine. You read a pregnancy test. You inject the medicine into the arm. You keep going . . .

There are moments in which your heart quickens at the joy of the task:

-the thrill of finding the baby’s heartbeat at the first try, and of hearing that rapid little heartbeat filling the room as your hand presses onto the large belly of a smiling mama-to-be.

-the relief on a teenager’s face when she realizes that the feared moment has already passed . . . for you have already inserted that needle and she didn’t even notice the prick

-the grateful eyes of a woman who realizes I have responded to her in her own language . . . her voice has been heard. She is understood, and not just an another voiceless foreigner.

Yes, there are moments.

But then there are other moments: moments in which you remember the deeper, truer parts of your soul. Moments when your soul swells with the kind of joy that lifts you to the heavens.

That, my friend, is the kind of joy this morning reminded me of. 

Something about leading worship shoots an arrow to one of the first places where I felt true joy. And maybe that’s the real reason that it means so much to me—the “first” of it. Because the older I get, the more I suspect that the mundane is just as significant as those “highs” that felt so powerful in my youth. Not to diminish the thrill, mind you—I do believe that we were created to feel the thrill of the great moments of life. But I also believe that we were created for the smaller things as well—and that the smaller pleasures are great in themselves.

So tonight I sit beside my husband, winding down before bed. We have an argument. We talk through it. “I’m sorry.” “Me too.” We smile at each other. We watch U2 music videos, inspired by this morning’s church service.

Yes. Seriously.

It was a thrilling joy to be lifting my voice in song this morning, harmonizing with other musicians.

And it is just as thrilling to be in my home tonight, in quiet harmony with my husband on this mild evening. Hope. Spring is coming.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
 He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.
(Psalm 40: 1-3, NKJV)

*photos credit to my husband. One of seedlings that will soon be bringing yummy veggies to us thanks to his gardening genius. The other of our goat. Because she smiles for the camera. And because she supplies us with our daily milk ☺️

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