I love singing to my friend, Jesus. I’m convinced music is one of the sweetest gifts God has given us. And not just to the “musically-inclined”! In my humble opinion a “pitchy” voice is akin to a funny laugh – an unofficial gift of the Holy Spirit, a contagious joy.
My time in Indonesia, in a nutshell, was a pleasant surprise. The group of strangers I travelled with were far kinder than I had expected, the accommodation much nicer. The country’s people so joyful and hospitable, the language not too difficult to pick up. The whole terrain far more beautiful than I had pictured, and God’s presence all the more tangible.
However, the sweetest of surprises was that, in each church we visited, we were welcomed with the sound of singing. In eastern Indonesia, Christianity is one of the most prominent faiths. And while a typical home is very, very basic, the town’s local churches are often incredibly ornate with high ceilings and accents – perfect for heavenly acoustics. In the first church we visited, small-framed fourteen-year-old girls with powerhouse voices sang my favourite modern hymn, Agnus Dei and I cried like a baby. Later that week, we spent Sunday worshipping with a rural Lutheran church set in the foggy mountains of Sinsingon – a fitting name as the incredible youth choir did indeed sing on, and on.
It was in this congregation I was meeting my four-year-old sponsor child. For over a year, we have had the blessing of making one another’s lives richer while we teach each other about Jesus’ love for people through letter-writing. Often, I have told her about how I love to sing. What a pleasant surprise it was when the pastor invited our visiting group to sing a song for the congregation.
As our group sang a humble and pitch-imperfect rendition of Amazing Grace, I felt the Father sweetly whisper to me, “This is my gift to you, Talitha. You’re welcome.”
The simplicity of this gift, that I would get to share a song with my sponsor child, undoes me. God is so kind, he handles my heart so gently. Our generous Giver God cares about the little things. He wants us to enjoy loving him. He gives gifts that we can never repay! Gifts like grace and salvation that leave him happily short-changed. He loves giving these good and perfect gifts (James 1:17). He’s an “upside down” King. What a pleasant surprise that is.
Thank you, Giver God, for all the gifts you have lavished upon me. Give me eyes to see the sweet and small gifts you are giving that I take for granted. Thank you for the gifts of music and worship in this life. You are worthy of it all and more, Giver God. Amen.