Morning Songs

Today is my last day of volunteering at Rehoboth Christian School in New Mexico. This morning at breakfast one of my volunteer colleagues shared with me a small event that happened in the mid school (That’s what they call middle school around here.). She’s been helping with the choir this week. There was this kid in the choir…

She wondered if I knew this kid. I probably met him in the science class in which I was helping. By the way, I have to say that I was impressed that every day I was in that classroom, the teacher, in some way, acknowledged God as creator of an awesome world.

“This is my father’s world I rest me in the thought

Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas

His hand the wonders wrought”

Anyway, this kid that I probably met at some point, had a request for the choir director. My friend is right there to witness the whole thing. By the way, she and her sisters, are singers themselves. As a matter of fact this morning they sang for the elementary students during their chapel time. They beautifully sang a version of…

“Seek and you will find

Knock and the door will be open

Ask and you will receive”

So, the kid asked the choir director if he could share a song with the class. I’m picturing the kid, all sincere, asking, and the choir director pausing a bit amid the controlled chaos of the students coming into the room. I’m sure he was wondering, maybe what to say so that the kid’s feelings aren’t crushed. He knew the kid. He knew the challenges he faced in the classroom. And, he knew his choir. He said sure.

One of my favorite choir pieces is “Do Not Be Afraid,” by Philip Stopford. It’s based on Isaiah 43:1. That song and I have some history. I listened to it the first Sunday I was here.

“Do not fear for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.”

Anyway, I’m picturing the kid quietly, shyly sing his song in front of the group. I wasn’t there, but I imagine him standing in front of his classmates and pausing, taking a breath, maybe a little nervous, singing without fear, a song he had written. And his classmates politely, respectfully listened to him sing… and applauded when he finished.

In church Sunday morning we sang a song, not written by a mid school kid, but another guy, Jeremy Zeyl. It was based on the words of a centuries-old catechism. It went like this…

“This my only comfort in my life and in my death

You have fully paid for all my sins and all my debts

With your precious blood you’ve set me free

I am not my own but belong body and soul

In my life and in death to you Lord, Christ my Lord”

Now I don’t know if the kid with the song knew anything about this catechism. But I’m sure that at this place, Rehoboth Christian School, he’s been taught the essence of what it means. You see, his song was about his mother. She was going through hard times.

I wasn’t there, but my friend was and she was having a hard time finishing the story without a tear or two slipping from her eye. This story about the kid, who at this place is surrounded by teachers and classmates who love Jesus and who love him; this story about the the kid who wrote and shared a song about his suffering mother touched her, touched me.

And one more thing… the most important thing…. There was one more song that resonated with me today. It was sung in chapel by the elementary students at RCS in two languages, English and Navajo. This morning the sound of that song floated through the halls of this school, permeating a community that believes and practices the truth of its words without reservation.

“Jesus loves me this I know

For the Bible tells me so

Little ones to him belong

They are weak but he is strong.”

Morning songs…today’s gift.

One thought on “Morning Songs

  1. Carol Peters


    This was the first thing I read last night once I got home and turned on the computer.
    I’m reading it again, and marveling at how well you captured what you did not see but what you heard from me about the boy, the song, the experience.
    Thanks for writing what I needed to remember so clearly about our week as volunteers at Rehoboth.


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