I can still remember that day so clearly. We had only been dating for about 4 weeks, and hubby and his family had taken me with them on a vacation to the rustic African bush. Hubby had brought his guitar, and in the evenings he would play and sing worship songs around the camp fire. At some point during the vacation he turned to me and asked me if I thought he had a good singing voice.
“Um, not really…” I replied.
I can hear all five of my regular readers gasping in shock as they read this. What? How could I have been so…thoughtless? Cruel, even?
I can’t explain that one, folks. I was young. Opinionated. A musical snob. Oh, how I learned to eat those words. They were unfair, and untrue. If I could have had the moment over again, I would have told him that he has a great tone, a uniquely beautiful voice, but that he needed some voice training to smooth out some issues.
Anyhow. Twenty years of silence followed. TWENTY years, people. Not a song in the shower, not a peep anywhere. The guitar collected dust in its case, only getting pulled out occasionally and strummed halfheartedly.
It was a slow awakening. Our pastor encourages all of us who feel a call to go into the ministry to learn how to lead worship. Even without a natural talent, the ability to lead worship is a necessary skill when you want to bring people into the presence of God. So, hubby and I have been on the worship team for a number of years. The guitar got dusted off and played again regularly.
It was always a sticky point though, and one that created some friction – which one of us was going to lead worship? Hubby had the desire to do it, but I was the one who could hear a piece of music once and then tell you how it ought to be played afterwards. I would frustrate the heebie-jeebies out of the poor hubby man. He would play something and I would say: “It’s not right”. And yeah, sometimes I was still nit-picking, and a bit better-than-thou-ish. You’d have thought I had learned my lesson twenty years ago. Sigh.
Anyhow. About a year and a half ago, something started growing in me. It was the realization that hubby was the one who had the true calling to be a worship leader. It defied logic. After all, I am the “musical one”, right? But I knew, at some point, that he had a true longing to lead people into the presence of God through worship, whereas I simply wanted to express my own worship to God through music. I could do that as a part of a worship team, without being a worship leader. In fact, the more I thought about it, the less I wanted any part of leading worship.
So, I stepped back.
I told the hubby that he had to go for it. The time was right. I could feel it, like an unborn baby that needed to be pushed out into the world. Hubby was ready to get his worship leading wings, and fly.
The man had started to sing a bit at home at this point, but he was still far from comfortable about sticking his neck out and singing in public. Then I was asked to do a song at church. Nothing seemed to feel right, except a song that hubby and I had been practising at home. It took some cajoling, but eventually we performed the duet together.
It was so perfect. People raised their arms and worshipped, others wept, when we stepped off that stage there was a tangible anointing in the room. Who would have thought that God would take two such imperfect vessels and use them in spite of their shortcomings?
It is with such a grateful heart that I write this. Since that fateful duet in the church a few months ago, hubby has led worship about 5 or 6 times. Each time he grows in confidence and ability. It is precious to see him come out of his shell, to see him regaining the ground that satan had stolen from him through my hasty words so long ago. It’s the perfect redemption story.
What I love most about the whole thing, is that I have now found something I have yearned for all my life – someone to harmonize with. I love singing harmonies to songs, and everyone who listens to hubby and I singing together will tell you, our voices match each other perfectly.
For the longest time, I didn’t know it, but now I rejoice in it:
We were made to sing together.