Precious memories (precious memories) how they linger (linger) how they ever flood my soul (my soul now) In the stillness (in the stillness) of the midnight (midnight) sacred secrets still unfold....
And every Oakwoodite I know says, AMEN!
Yesterday, I did the welcome at my church. Most people were surprised when I burst into song...even those who knew that I have been known in my lifetime to sing a note or two...like my mother. There was a time in my life when you couldn't get me to stop singing...but as time went by and I started hanging around "real" singers, I grew quieter and quieter and started singing only in the shower, the car or at family worship. When challenged by friends about hiding my talents, my response always was, "I'm developing the other talents God gave me...that one is not that important." Oh, I'd still lead out in song service, if asked, but anything more than that, I'd be sure to give another suggestion. But yesterday got me to thinking about my rich singing past.
My first memory of singing in public before a crowd was a tent revival meeting in Hartford, CT for the Faith SDA Church. Visiting my grandparents for the summer, somehow my grandmother convinced the pastor (I don't even remember who it was) to allow me to do special music one night. I was all of 5, maybe 6 years old, challenging Eleanor Wright singing "It's Raining Joy", which is still one of my favorite Blendwrights songs. (That, and "I Dreamed I Reached Heaven") Poor Faith members, I think every time I visited after that, I wanted to sing, but they were always encouraging...Aunt Joanie, Sis. Pearl and Bell, Uncle Walter, Kitson and Deb (none of whom were related to me, but I didn't find that out until I was grown!) and my godsis, Lin, always encouraged and supported me every time. Even when I messed up. (Remember my grandparents' going away service in 1978? I shoulda retired, never to sing again after that fiasco! Although I still maintain, Kevin was the one who messed us up!)
Throughout high school, I sang at school AND at church. It was often a juggling affair with my schedule between performances for the school and rehearsals for the church choir. Biggest accomplishment: singing a solo in German for my senior year concert AND being picked to sing at my high school graduation in our class quartet: shout outs to Susan, Barry and Michael - all Facebook friends and fellow graduation singers. What an honor and experience that was.
Off to college - the famous "Oaks" where singing is not for the faint of heart. I remember wanting to audition for the Aeolians and being intimidated; auditioning for College Choir (Jerry Hutchinson accompanied on the piano) and not making it; and then trying out for Blessed Peace and David King taking pity on me and allowing me to sing. (Just kidding) I LOVED being in Blessed Peace and singing with people like Mark Kibble and Mervyn Warren before they became famous, and Wanda Lott and Luchette and Randy Hutchinson, who I knew from NYC Ephesus and who took me under their wings. I remember Mark encouraging me to sing a solo once and me backing out because I didn't think I could do it like the person who was "known" for singing the solo in the song...one of the regrets of my life. I think if I had just tried it, I would have been better for it. Alas.
Even when I left the Oaks, for a while, I sang...at Berean under the leadership of Luther Washington, at Decatur under Jeff Taylor's direction...but after all, I slowly pulled away from singing. Don't know why. Too many choir rehearsals. Too much ego...mine and others. It just wasn't fun anymore. It was just easier to sit in the pews, enjoy the music and make comments like, "When I get to heaven, I'm gonna sing like...or sing in that choir...or..."
I'm not sure what happened yesterday when I did the welcome. I don't know what came over me. I am not announcing my desire to launch a new singing career (Sorry, Joey), but it may not be AS hard to get me up there to sing...we'll see.
PS: If you want to hear the caterwauling, it's on churchpond.