As I knelt at the altar of the large church, I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder.
It was my friend Karen* who had followed me up there. Through her gesture, I knew that she was encouraging me on in my walk with God.
And I appreciated her support – probably more than she’ll ever know.
It was college, and I just had been through a difficult season. Karen and I had some good talks in her dorm room that year. She was a ministry major, and I enjoyed the freshness and depth to her faith.
I remember that Karen was committed to fasting on Sundays, a practice that I still have difficulties with. But I admired her for it, and I wondered at her commitment in seeking God through fasting.
It was a few years after graduation when word came to me that Karen and her new husband had fallen from their faith and turned away from God.
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The brown fluff of fur lay still on the curb, and a sick wave of recognition washed over me as I drove up.
I knew it was Lola.
My girls heard me crying there at the wheel as I sat at the intersection in our minivan unable to hit the gas pedal.
I knew I didn’t want them to find out about their kitty the way I did, so I collected myself and drove on to our destination deciding to tell them there.
Their reaction was as expected, and we bagged our desperate need for groceries in favor of going straight back home and doing what needed to be done.
It was a sad walk back over to the intersection, and my son and I, with a shovel and a wheelbarrow, dealt with the death on the curb.
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As I make my way through my mid 40s, I’m starting to come to terms with the things I just can’t seem to do well.
For instance: I can’t make a good campfire that lasts after the newspaper goes up in flames.
I can’t make a tasty pancake that doesn’t resemble a hockey puck.
And I definitely can’t sing.
Now I’m not bashing myself, I know that there are certain talents and gifts that God has given me that I can do well. I’m just being honest here, and if I could change one thing -- I’d like to make beautiful melody with my voice.
But you know, even though singing isn’t one of my talents, I do enjoy listening to it and participating in it (to the best of my ability) in and outside of church.
I particularly love Christian contemporary music, and I listen almost exclusively to it. I love that the words in a song can take my spirit to new heights with God.
Maybe that’s why my ears perked up last Sunday when I found out that our pastor was going to speak on music in worship.
And it was interesting when our pastor called Christianity a “singing religion.”
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