The Rhythm of Grace

Violin & ClarinetI’m not gifted with one ounce of musical talent…unless you count that one semester in 5th grade when I tried playing clarinet in the Jr. High band.  I initially wanted to play the violin, but my parents simply wouldn’t entertain the sound of screeching strings wafting down the hallway of our yellow house.  So instead, they got the painful squawks of the clarinet.  Ha…jokes on you, Mom and Dad!

I also can’t carry a tune in a bucket, as evidenced by my 6th grade choir director, Mrs. Lorenz, whenst in the middle of a rousing rendition of Let There Be Peace On Earth she brought an abrupt halt to the song to hunt down and identify the infidel here on earth…or at least in the choir…who was singing so off key.  Yep…I’m pretty sure that was me.   She marched back and forth in front of the risers while each section sang and listened intently – so I faked it and lip sang.   Needless to say, Jr. High was tramatic for me musically.

However, for someone so musically bankrupt, I have somehow developed a true appreciation and love of music.  Salsa guy is very musical, and our kids have pretty great voices so I’m fairly confident those gifts came from him.  But there’s something about music or a beautiful voice that reaches down into my soul and stirs my innerds – it literally can bring me to tears.  Song pierces my heart, sometimes breaking it, but more often than not it speaks words and emotions that I feel and so want to express myself – but can’t.  That’s what I love and appreciate about music.

Sometimes when I’m all by myself, I pretend I really can sing.  Don’t even try to tell me you haven’t. Have you never once sung into your hair brush in front of the mirror?  When I was a little girl I would pretend that the long upright vacuum handle on our Kirby vacuum was a microphone stand.  I gotta say, though, I do think there IS some rhythm hidden somewhere inside these bones.  I can keep time on beat, can clap on beat to music, and dance with the best of the bunch.  I’ve also want to initiate the praise and boogie pew at church with my young hip Presbyterian friends.  So I firmly believe that when I am restored in Heaven I’m going to sing backup for Patti LaBelle.  I believe that the voice I wish I had here on earth really is hidden way down deep somewhere in this soul of mine….just waiting to be shared with the world and not just with the confines of the shower.

I’m pretty sure God chose not to bless others with my musicality this side of heaven because when I was young I wouldn’t have used it for His glory.  My prideful heart would have used it for my own glory and promotion.  I’m so grateful He protected me from that.  Just another thing He did for me that I might have resented at the time, but now see why it was best for me.   Kind of like why He probably chose not to bless me with riches.  But that’s a whole ‘nother story.

Here’s what I believe to be the secret to the sound and rhythm of grace: I think when we play the strings and they squeak, or when we blow the horn and it squawks, or when we can’t carry a tune in the proverbial bucket and sing terribly off key – but we do it for Him – I think it translates into the courts of Heaven as the most beautiful music those realms have ever heard.  My pitch and key here might be off here (and I pity the ears of the poor soul that has to stand next to me in church when I sing) but I firmly believe that the angels and my Creator hear a completely different sound and translation.  Wouldn’t that be cool?  Wouldn’t that just be so gracious of God to make that part of the mystery of grace?  Or in this case….the rhythm of grace.

Now if someone could just tell me where the heck the phrase “carry a tune in a bucket” came from, I would be grateful, ‘cuz if I’m going to throw it around I’d better know whence it came from.

Buckets full of grace to you this fine day!

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