I clomped up the stairs, a bit tardy, and hit the landing. As I gained the last step a few heads turned. The ones who had been chatting with Ted, our choir director, about – oh – anything that had gone on during the week. I guess I wasn’t so late that I’d missed vocalizing. I hoped I wouldn’t be the last one to show up for practice. Every time we hear the big front door opening downstairs we listened for footfalls coming our way wanting it to be another singer to add to the five of us already there.
I sat down, opened the red folder with the music inside and smiled at Marie. She’s a fellow alto, always on time, and I hold the music for both of us. She had polio as a child and can’t hold music because she lost the use of the muscles in her left arm.
Ted gave us the “let’s get going” and the five of us began warm ups. Up the scales we went and back and then there was another voice added. A soprano. She was breathing hard from the stair climb but we were grateful she’d made it seeing as how she’d been sick recently.
The pool of singers grew yet again when another alto showed up. Marie and I appreciated that our section would now be able to hold its own. Our one intrepid tenor, the good doctor, did his best to hit his notes spot on and the only thing we lacked was a voice in the bass section.
It wasn't long before we’d gone through the anthem for the service that would start in twenty minutes and it was time to sing in formation. Some of us are on the choir loft floor, the rest are on the risers behind. “Mic check,” says Ted who adjusts them and scooches us together for a better sound. Then he bips back to the keyboard, fiddling with a few keys. And he plays.
About halfway through our John Rutter piece, Look At The World, the air changes. Someone else has come up from behind. I sense it, like a quick breath, as he steps onto the riser and lends his rich bass to the mix coming in exactly where we’re singing, measure 37. He knows the piece because he doesn’t hesitate. And suddenly the whole thing is coming together. We’ve got voices in all four parts. We’re buoyed by the that one addtional voice. We’re a little less anemic now, fuller bodied and more rounded out than a few minutes ago.
It’s as though God has plucked us each out of our ordinary lives and said, “Stand here, sing. I need your voice, your particular voice, so give it all you’ve got. The words in this anthem will fall on the ears I intend; ears needing to hear this.”
Life is like a choir (yeah – I know – like a box of chocolates, too) with lots of nuts and chews. Full of people with happys and hurts, quirks and gifts, health and misery and the occasional goofy joke thrown in for good measure. But when we’re all standing there together somehow we’re taken out of ourselves of a Sunday morning, raising our voices, and blessing others with song.
How awesome is that?
Image: Free Digital Photos