One of the great blessings of my life is singing in the choir of the church I attend.
There is something very special about being with a group of people that love to sing. Although we hope we sound good, the quality of the performance is not our primary concern. Ultimately, we long to praise our Creator with the joyful blending of our voices.
Singing . . .
. . . was on my mind and heart as I walked this morning.
As I listened, I heard soprano songbirds in the chirping and twittering, followed by the alto caws of a crow and the kikirikí of several roosters in the neighborhood. A train rumbled nearby with a tenor-quality Doppler effect. No bass as I meandered, but I thought back to the previous night’s rain storm and the deep thunder rolls that seemed to echo forever like a timpani etude.
Not too long ago, my pastor used the term EGR in his message.
I do not know the origin of this acronym, but an EGR is a person that may rub you the wrong way, get on your nerves, be irritating. Interacting with them may feel and sound like a cacophony of screeching brakes followed by the inevitable clanging crash and bash . . . nothing at all like the harmonies of a pleasing ditty.
EGR . . . Extra Grace Required . . .
Aren’t we all an EGR to someone at some time? I know more often than not my own attitudes prevent me from humming harmoniously with others . . . seems as if David knew this too . . .
Shout for joy to ADONAI, all the earth! Serve ADONAI with gladness. Enter his presence with joyful singing. Psalm 100: 1-2 Another translation says: Make a joyful noise . . .
In living this life, what are the qualities of a lilting aria, an Extra Grace Required ballad?
What if we treated everyone with whom we come in contact daily . . .
. . . with the patience we have for those with a “Student Driver” sign on their vehicle, or give as generously as we do when there has been a natural disaster? How about treating everyone with the care and sacrifice of a Registered Nurse in an intensive care unit, or if we loved everyone with the sympathy and compassion we have for the bereaved? These are just a few of the lines in life’s EGR choral composition.
In other words . . . (Excerpt from I Wish I could Speak Like Music by Hafiz)
I wish I could speak like music.
I wish I could put the swaying splendor
Of the fields into words
So that you could hold Truth
Against your body
And dance . . .
I wish I could speak like divine music.
I want to give you the sublime rhythms
Of this earth and the sky’s limbs
As they joyously spin and surrender
Against God’s Luminous breath.
Even if you do not believe in God . . . even if you don’t sing well . . . it does not hurt to at least join in . . . maybe that is where the “Extra” Grace is heard . . . if you are attentively attuned.