My father would be 103 years old today! In my mind’s eye, he is still 64, the age at which he died. Dad was not a singer, but he took seriously the Psalmist’s command to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” My mom, a former church organist, could carry a tune, and had the habit of closing her hymnal on the last verse of hymns, singing the final measures from memory. That, too, was rather embarrassing as a wanna-be-cool teen. I was stuck in the same pew with all that passion and enthusiasm.
But now I treasure those memories, and catch myself doing the same things in worship. St. Augustine (354-430 C.E.) said, “He who sings prays twice,” (put an ‘s’ in front of the ‘he’ to include women). No matter how you sing, your song is prayer magnified. The older I get, and the more confident in prayer, the more songs, even secular, have become a part of my prayer practice. I recall being on a retreat a number of years ago, walking through a beautiful forest when John Denver’s “Annie’s Song” came to mind. “You fill up my senses, like a night in forest, like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain.” Suddenly I found myself singing those words as a love song to God. I wonder, have you ever done the same?
Rod sent me a link to an elementary school music teacher, leading her virtual class in song. It expresses a prayer that I imagine many of us have prayed in this time of COVID 19. It is worth watching, so here is the link:
May the songs in your life this day become prayer for you.
PS – Happy birthday, Dad.