I have always had the deepest desire to sing like, oh, I don’t know…Whitney Houston? Adele, maybe? Hey, I’ll take Meghan Trainer or Rebel Wilson. But, alas, I don’t have the pipes, much less the pitch. Still, my anthem in the 70’s was that song by the Carpenters which promoted singing, “even if you’re not good enough for anyone else to hear.” I still live by that philosophy.
Last night was Choir Practice at Cooksville Lutheran Church here in rural, south central Wisconsin. I have been visiting here for five years now, twice a year. When here, I have been invited to sing and ring chimes. I have eagerly accepted, and these are very joyful times for me.
When I showed up at practice, after the initial big hug from the choir director, I was given a chair, a chime, a choir robe, a partner, music. And so the rehearsal for the Christmas Eve service began.
Last summer, I was officially declared an alto. I know what that means, but I have very limited experience in practicing “alto-ism.” Not to worry. With my partner on one side, my sister on the other, my niece across the aisle, and Mom next to my niece, I joined the choir, and sang like a bird. Well, in my mind. At least I didn’t embarrass myself.
So I was telling my sister this…how much it means to me to be so lovingly included by everyone in such a sacred service. Inclusion is a big deal for me, and I have searched my whole life for that feeling. Here it is, and I have it, two dreams…to be and feel included and to sing.
In sisterly fashion, and without blinking, she responded, “You can breathe. We take anyone who breathes.” Hey, I’m not proud. Breathing is in my skill set. We laughed uproariously, and I was reminded again why I love being here so much. Belonging is everything.