As I sang “Mary’s Song (Breath of Heaven)” for our worship service this past Sunday, in the small sanctuary filled with dear friends who only think kindly toward me, I was strangely nervous and so very aware of my own inadequacies. My voice trembled and my fingers faltered. I tried to close my eyes, which is my usual way of focusing and shutting out distraction. But I didn’t know the music well enough to not follow the chords with my eyes.
I spoke truth to myself as I sang (it’s amazing the inner conversations that can take place concurrently with outward expression)…
It’s not about you…Sing it the way you sang it during soundcheck…Breathe…Stop thinking…
And suddenly I had rounded the corner into the third verse:
“Do you wonder, as you watch my face,
If a wiser one should have had my place…”
These words…ohhh, the cut. This is what I wanted to ask. My honest question.
“But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan
Help me be strong…”
Strength beyond myself. I do need it - desperately. Because this is all I’ve got. It’s not impressive.
“Breath of heaven, hold me together…
Lighten my darkness,
Pour over me your holiness, for you are holy…”
Hold me together. Pour over me your holiness! Pour over me…
As the chorus repeated, I was overwhelmed by the realization that I was no longer singing “Mary’s” song, but my own. That is, Mary’s song IS my song.
I think we have much in common with the mother of Christ. This young Mary, who was underqualified by all human standards.
Mary, to whom the Son came, not through her own works or deeds but through the work of the supernatural Spirit of God.
Mary, who didn’t know what her road would to look like or how she would deal with it, and was certain only of her own weakness and God’s sovereignty.
Mary, who offered a song.
Mary, whose outward growth became apparent as the life of Jesus grew within her.
Mary, who rejoiced.
Mary, who suffered.
Mary, who was used by God precisely through her human frailty and childlike faith.
Surely my road isn’t as hard as the mother of God’s.
I can learn from her.
How to sing.