My friend is a country singer, and writes the lyrics to his own music. I write my own books but can’t carry a tune. Yet somehow we made a marriage of our talents, resulting in the awesome “Let Them See You.” I still can’t quite believe how it came together so beautifully but want to share this experience with you.
My friend, Frank, and I had made plans for me to travel to Michigan where he lived. We’d always talked about writing songs together because we are both writers but deep down I thought , “How is that ever going to happen? I’m tone deaf!” Still, it seemed full of possibilities this time. Frank trusted my heart instincts. I trusted his musical abilities. Would we actually sit down and take a stab at it this time? Or would we dream on without testing the waters?
The process began on the plane ride from the Philadelphia leg to Detroit. As I sat in my seat, eyes closed, some words came to me in Spanish: Mi corazón está tierno todavía. It’s not so unusual for Spanish to come to my mind because I lived in South America for a number of years and now teach Spanish every day. But whoa! Where did that thought come from?! I whispered the words to myself, feeling their beauty wash over me.The words meant, “My heart is still tender.” God did not leave me to wonder for long. He sent me the story of Jesus and and his apostle, Peter. The part that lingered in my mind was when Jesus asked him, “Do you love me, Peter?” and he replied, “Of course, I do.” Jesus asked him a few more times, “But do you really love me, Peter?” Peter was like, “What? Jesus, why do you keep asking me that question! I would die for you.” And yet he denied him three times.
How many times do I deny Jesus?
Every heart relationship needs attention and time set aside to deepen it. Was God telling me in spite of me not making time to meet with Him each day, the miracle of His love was that He still ached to share Himself with me, that His heart was still tender for me? Or was something inside myself imploring me to reach out to Him and admit that my heart was still tender for Him in spite of my seeming indifference when I don’t make time for Him? I mean, I love God but do I love Him every day of my life? Do I love Him without question? Do I surrender my deepest hopes to Him? And obey Him? Is my heart still tender enough to be used by Him? These questions lay on my heart for the remainder of the journey. That was Friday night.
On Sunday morning, I said to Frank on the spur-of-the-moment, “Hey, do you want to go to church? I remember one not far from your house,” I replied wondering why it came to mind. Though at first a bit reluctant, Frank looked up the worship time on the Internet, and we decided to go for it.
The small community church welcomed us warmly. It makes us both laugh when we remember everyone we met seemed to have the name “Joe.” Whether it was Joe, the preacher, Josephine, the worshiper in the pew ahead of us, or Joe, the one seated next to her. The entire shared experience touched us, from the music to the sermon on finances geared toward the home congregation and a plot of land they are trusting God for. During the worship, we sang “Amazing Grace,” and for some reason, this song stirred our souls. I felt myself lifted up to Jesus. The words came from deep inside me.
Has God and shown you something completely opposite of what you know to be true? And by that, taught you something? That’s what happened to me that morning! I’m always delighted when God’s humor hits me and am still turning it over in my mind… After the service, Josephine turned around and said, “You two have amazing voices!” Me? An amazing voice? Come on…! I joked about her meaning Frank, who has the really good singing voice. But he turned to me and whispered, “She said ‘you two.’ I knew she was going to turn around. I felt it myself. Our voices sounded beautiful together.” I digested his words. He knew his music, and how the notes should sound. Could God have given me a moment of grace?
I am no dummy. My voice is horrible. But could God use my vanity to teach me His lesson? “Your voices are beautiful to My ears because you are both singing from your hearts.”? Could they have sounded really beautiful together for His purposes? What if he were using this very experience to encourage us about our song writing endeavors! Could He be telling me not to let my voice be a detriment to what He wanted me to share with the others. Was He saying, I will fill the gap … I will supply the words, just be My vessels? Frank already believed I could write a song with him. It was my unbelief that God was working on.
Frank and I both left that small community church in awe of the Lord. What an experience to share! I felt close to Frank and close to God. The fact that God united us exhilarated me. I don’t know exactly what doors opened that day for my friend but I know the Holy Spirit prompted me to ask him to go with me that morning and that had been God’s plan. It makes me smile whenever I think of it.
A little while later, Frank stopped in the grocery store and left me alone in the car. Whispered words rose, first hesitantly, and then in a torrent, to the sky. God, thank you, thank you for choosing that church. Thank You for preparing our hearts for You. Lord, let me be obedient to You. Lord, I love You. Draw us into Your fold. Lord, I am nothing and yet You use every little nothing to become something in Your kingdom. To build something. You have made me worth something. You give us talents, and we must use those talents for Your glory. Whatever talents Frank and I have, show us how to pool them together to demonstrate our love for you. Let us be Your witnesses.
I believe this prayer opened the flood gate to the song we wrote that afternoon. The song that came together so beautifully, “Let Them See You.”
Tomorrow, I’ll share how that happened and the words to the song itself. Till then, you are in my prayers. Draw close to Him…