I have been battling a cold for the last week or so. It isn't a bad one and it hasn't sidelined me much, but one of my symptoms was a sore throat. This morning, I woke up without much of a voice . . .
and I was supposed to sing a solo in church.
Church didn't begin until 12:30 so I had time. Having been a singer all of my life, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. I tried them. Each time I ran through the song, my voice cracked, jumped or just plain stopped. I was nervous, to say the least. My song was to be near the end, about an hour into the service. There was a constant prayer streaming heavenward the whole time. When it was my turn, I leaned over to my girls and whispered, "Pray for your mama." They did.
When I am singing in church, my main hope is to bring the Holy Spirit into the meeting. I want to testify through my talent, to help members of the congregation, Spirit to spirit, identify truth. Music can say things where words alone fail. If I sang poorly or if my voice jumped or cracked obviously, the only thing people would remember was that flub. I don't want people to remember my voice; I want them to remember how they felt about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ while I sang. In other words, my desire is to be a vessel. A vessel that is spilling its contents is not exactly doing its job!
Many years ago, I was in a production of Secret Garden and I got laryngitis days before the performances. I remember talking to the music director before the dress rehearsal, "The good news is that I have a voice. The bad news is that it is very weak." His advice was to sing as correctly as I knew how--by not being lazy in my technique, I was successful. I applied that advice today.
My song went just how I wanted it to go.
Please don't mistake my happiness with pride. My happiness is with the small miracle that Heavenly Father offered to me today. My prayers and those of my little family were heard and, somehow, my voice obeyed my will. By the closing hymn, my voice was back to performing the way it had been doing all morning and tonight, I am mostly mute. But for that moment, I was able to testify of the blessed Babe, His mother, Mary, and His Father.