Worship Wednesdays - Holy Unexpected...

Welcome to 2015! We've enjoyed a wonderful break after our busy holiday season, and we're looking forward to an exciting year of touring, concerts, workshops, and other projects. Before kicking off the New Year, we want to share our favourite story from our holiday singing season:

On Christmas Day, we found ourselves singing for a group of seniors in Brampton, Ontario. We often bring our music into seniors homes. Some of them are like grounded cruise ships, with glamorous surroundings and a full roster of activities for the vibrant and active residents. This was not one of those places. The home and the staff were lovely, but the residents were struggling. Many had advanced dementia and mobility issues. Several were in elaborate wheelchairs, needing to be hand-fed. Some wore protective head gear. As we sang, many seemed unaware of both our physical and musical presence. They were just in their own world.

To the side was a woman in a bright pink dress. Her physical form had been severely drained by whatever illness had taken over her body. Her limbs were thin and jolted awkwardly. Her words were few and distorted. Her face had been twisted to the point where she couldn't even smile, yet we could tell she was enjoying the music. A caring staff member had tied jingle bells to her wrist. She swung her arms joyfully, the bells tinkling with each jerk of her hand.

We finished one song, and as people applauded, we heard a voice start to sing. We looked over to see our pink-dressed friend...

Ave Maria... 

This voice didn't represent the distorted body we saw before us. This voice was pure, warm, beautiful...

Gratia plena...

We were stunned. The room fell quiet.

Maria, gratia plena. Maria, gratia plena.
Ave, ave dominus. Dominus tecum.

We couldn't believe what we were witnessing. Out of the chaos of this busy room, this moment of beauty was flowing. No one made a sound. We were transfixed by this wonder, this sweetness. Her Latin was perfect. Her tone was smooth. She sang the whole song, and brought it to a deliberate and delicate finish..

Ventris tui, Jesus...
Ave Maria....

When she finished, there was a breath of silence, and then joy-filled applause. We couldn't believe what we had just witnessed. It was so unexpected - a extraordinary moment in an ordinary day.

A staff member whispered to us, "She was an opera singer in her youth."

Her body and her mind had aged and suffered, but her voice had continued to live inside her, seeking moments when it could escape its bindings and soar once again.

As we sit here at the start of a New Year, we ask ourselves,

What are the dreams and talents that are still living inside of us? 
What might happen if we allow them to find their way out into the world?

For if we allow them to soar, maybe we can all experience the holy, unexpected...


Worship Wednesdays is a weekly series to encourage and equip worship leaders and songwriters. Bookmark this page visit us every Wednesday!



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