I have numerous new ways of completing my chores and running errands these days. Shopping at the grocery store involves making sure I take a few disinfectant wipes with me, have my mask and arrive early when there are fewer people in the store. I used to spend part of my Sabbath day at Barnes and Nobles, having a cup of tea and a sandwich while I read a book. I still go to Barnes and Nobles, just to make a purchase or browse the shelves for the newest releases. And of course, I am required to wear a mask as I do so. I no longer sit in the café and read.
On the occasion that I actually go inside the bank, like the other customers, I am required to stand on squares indicating that I am six feet from the next person. The tellers were already behind a plexiglass barrier. Now I see that same barrier at JoAnn Fabrics, and City Barbeque. I haven’t been to my favorite restaurant since all of this began. I rely on Grub Hub to deliver my regular order.
With all of that, I think I miss singing the most. Not all of it. Whenever I’m in the car, I sing along with whatever song is on the radio. I’m talking about hymns, spirituals, requiems, and a Hallelujah chorus or two. I miss the 4- and 6-part harmony that happens at Annual Conference whenever we sing together. I miss the gift of song which opens and closes worship time and enhances our prayers. I especially miss singing my favorite hymns as well as the new compositions which continue to tell the story of Jesus and His love. I miss how meaningful it is to sing those songs together, as we praise the Lord, affirm our faith journeys and share how transformative music can be.
I have included a link to one of my favorite songs. https://youtu.be/zewCO0gqRjg
The tune may be familiar. It is Londondary Air. The words, written by Dottie Rambo encompass how grace has transformed and is transforming our lives. Each time I hear it, I remember the first time my sister sang it during a worship service. I also think of how this became our bus’s song as we journeyed through Israel. This is not a new song, nor is it the only way we express how amazing God’s grace is. Still, I sing it during these times of separation to remind me that our Lord is still with us in all ways and at all times. I look forward to the day when we will gather together and sing this and other songs of joy, praise and affirmation of our faith once again. And Amen.