When I was invited to sing in the chamber music ensemble at the college where I teach voice, I felt it was an honor and a blessing. To me this would be another opportunity for me to glorify God in song. This particular ensemble consists of faculty members—a violinist, oboist, and pianist, along with me, a vocalist.
The ensemble organizer asked to hear some songs from my repertoire, which I sang for her. She liked my choices, and my first two years as a member were nothing but real joy from our first rehearsal to our last performance. Then came my third year. Because my primary training had been in opera, I didn’t have many more non-operatic songs of the same caliber as those I had performed in my first two years. Therefore, for the third year, I included a few operatic solos, of which she chose two.
Days later, when I was alone and was working on the selected operatic solos, I remembered my college years when these solos were introduced to me and how I so enjoyed performing them at that time. But while reviewing these solos, I was having difficulty singing them. They were no longer fun, comfortable, and effortless. But, the decision was made. The program was set. There was no backing out.
I realized I had been accepting beliefs about age and deterioration. I had to let those thoughts go. I earnestly prayed to let God guide my thoughts. I found myself declaring, “God is my Father, my Mother, my instructor, my coach.”
God is the source of my, and everyone’s, perpetual, harmonious, and abundant supply. As it says in the Bible, God is Alpha and Omega and is everlasting. Therefore, my Father-Mother God is caring for me today the same way He, She, was caring for me when I was in college. Nothing about God can deteriorate, and as I am God’s spiritual offspring, nothing about me can deteriorate. I clung to the thought that God loves me because I am God’s child, made in God’s image and likeness as declared in Genesis (see 1:26, 27). Therefore, I could express only tones that were perfect and beautiful qualities of God.
I could express only tones that were perfect and beautiful qualities of God.
My first rehearsal of this program with the ensemble was beautiful. We had so much fun. The final rehearsal was the antithesis. I was vocally tired, and my throat felt swollen. I wanted to alter some musical patterns to be certain I could always execute the difficult passages, but I could think of no significant changes. I felt embarrassed in front of my colleagues.
I returned to my quiet communion with God, recognizing Him as my source of perfection and strength. “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28), as the Bible tells us. I knew we could deliver a perfect performance through God’s guidance. In God’s infinite being there just is no room for anything erroneous. It was important to not doubt, but to rejoice that we are all actually subject only to the divine power. I didn’t want to accept the thought that any of us could negatively impact the performance, including me. I wanted to see us as God’s ambassadors of harmony through music.
Sunday morning, the day of the program, I listened to the webcast of the service from The Mother Church, in Boston, Massachusetts. I was so grateful for the comforting atmosphere and for the provision to hear the webcast in my home before leaving.
He reminded me that I really must absolutely dismiss any thought of doubt.
When I arrived at the performance venue, I felt calm, though still a bit concerned about my throat. One of my favorite citations by Mary Baker Eddy in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures reads, referring to any claim of sickness or sin: “Dismiss it with an abiding conviction that it is illegitimate, because you know that God is no more the author of sickness than He is of sin” (p. 390).
I had asked a friend for his prayerful support, and he reminded me that I really must be obedient and absolutely dismiss any thought of doubt, because I knew better. I was aware that I could express God’s qualities, and express them with ease, because in reality, I am God’s perfect reflection. When the moments came for me to sing, I was happy. And while singing, I upheld my part with authority and was grateful. I felt loved and was confident, and my throat didn’t bother me. Pure tones were conveyed, not only through my voice, but through the unity of our whole group.
As it says in Science and Health, “What cannot God do?” (p. 135).
I’m so grateful to have continued to solo with the ensemble and in other engagements with much freedom and joy.
“Music is more than sound in unison,” wrote Mrs. Eddy. A little further on she continues, “Music is divine. Mind, not matter, makes music; and if the divine tone be lacking, the human tone has no melody for me” (Message to The Mother Church for 1900, p. 11). I find this passage endearing because music is a universal language and can communicate love and harmony in such a unique way, bringing joy to many.
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