Thursday, May 30, 2013

Alone. Awkward. Beautiful.

I downloaded Passion 2011 one night in February.  The talent that performs at this Atlanta event is thicker than Comfort Inn oatmeal and much more tasty. 

Passion is a movement in Atlanta, Georgia, that involves the superstars of the faith.  The preachers and the singers amaze.  Francis Chan, John Piper, Kristian Stanfill, Matt Maher, Christy Nockels, and Chris Tomlin are just a few of the incredible worship leaders who bless the crowd of 15,000 and many more when the conference songs and sermons are released via YouTube.

Anyway, the CD made its way to my Mazda pickup last week and I inserted it tonight.  Track 8 caught my ear and I realized quickly that it was Chris Tomlin's performance of a Matt Maher tune named Lord, I Need You.  The artists remade an old hymn into a wondrous worship tune that I enjoyed so much.

Now having listened to this song a few times, I immediately launched into a duet.  Just me and Chris.  A beautiful song, I provided a perfect accompaniment to the multi-million selling Christian worship hero.  Not really.

My voice is not much more than a squeaky Southern annoyance when compared with the musical heroes of my faith.  Still, having memorized the song, I persisted in joining Chris in this beautiful song.

Trouble is, three minutes into the song, this worship leader decided to stop.  Maybe your worship leader has done the same.  Smack dab in the middle of a beautiful song, the man in charge decides to stop the noise and let the congregation be heard.  Truth be told, in this case, the congregation was me, and the congregation was as off-key as one can possibly get. 

Troubled by the sound of my own voice, I quit.  But then, I changed my mind.  I started singing the words again.  At a lower volume, perhaps.  But still singing...

Lord, I need you, oh, I need you.
Every hour I need you.
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need you.

And I realized,  Lord, you love me.  With my broken, sorry voice, you love me.   With my failure to say the words correctly.  With the lack of passion in my voice, you love me.  With the inability to inspire others with my voice, you love me.  As I sing,  as I sing poorly, as I sing ONLY to you, you love me.  And I thank you.  Your love is without judgment, qualification, or requirement.  You love me as I am.  That is why You are who You are.  Perfect love.  For people like me.  Amen.