It Began With A Song

I used to play piano with the children before Sunday School, when my kids were young. My favorite song book became worn, losing its cover over time as it was carried back and forth. It all started there, really. There were two songs I flipped past on Sunday mornings but played through when home at the piano by myself. They became prayers and pleadings with my heavenly Father.

Debby Kerner Rettino wrote the first one around the verses in Mark 16:15, “Heart To Change The World”. Maybe because I am a Registered Nurse, possibly because it is simply how God created me but I have always had a sense for how others are suffering. I have often mistakenly believed that everyone sees and feels what I see, or I have wondered why/how they can’t? Debby’s words were, and remain, so dear to me: “You and I’ve got to have a heart to change the world. Let the song start to sing in every boy and girl. Start to Share, start to care, from a heart of love. Let the world know that Jesus loves them. ” Nice, huh? But here in the chorus is where it gets real: “How will the people know? How will the people know? How will the people know, UNLESS WE SHOW THEM?” (Capitalization mine). Verse two: “Jesus told us to go and share in every land, Over seas, through the hills, across the desert sand. By God’s grace, in God’s strength we can change the world, Let the world know that Jesus loves them.”

I remember singing that in private (I have never been confident enough to be heard!!), feeling the words resonate deeply, take root strongly. I would never have ,at that time, seen myself in this life of service to King Jesus.

The second song, written by Kelly Willard, is one of those bittersweet medicines for my soul. Sweet words on a great day, a tough pill to swallow on those days I could have done better. “Make Me A Servant, humble and meek. Lord, let me lift up those who are weak. And may the prayer of my heart always be; Make me a servant, make me a servant, make me a servant today”. My strong personality would sing it over and over again, seeking to humble myself, to allow God to work through me in His way and wondering if I will ever figure this out, ever feel good about the servant that I am.

In those moments at our piano, in our home of bustling young children, balancing work schedules, school schedules, volunteer commitments, family, etc I didn’t find answers. I found opportunity to be quiet, to calm my thoughts and center my mind over and over here. Use me. Form me. Mold me. Make me a servant. Give me a heart to feel, eyes to see, and give me courage to do something about it.

As I was pondering all things Haiti today I wrestled with feelings of inadequacy. I was honest with myself as I wondered how God chose us and how this all got started anyway. I was taken back to these two songs. I dug the songbook out and flipped through worn pages until I found them. It all started there, really. An open invitation, a plea to be humbled, to be used, to see the needs, to feel the pain and to be part of the response. The response – action. After-all, how will the people know??? We will show them!!!

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