“I come to the garden alone….”
In Memphis, the men sang this song full-out. They moved with the waltz tempo and gave heart to the lyrics. I’ve never been able to hear it since leaving that place without hearing Preston’s voice echo in my memory. His falsetto on the chorus and just his love to sing these old church songs.
Music is different here. There’s no Beale Street with musicians on every corner, decent ones too. The men in the ARC here aren’t so familiar with church songs in general and today, when we tried that old standard, “I Come to the Garden”, I shut my mouth and listened. I heard men singing, out of tempo and picking notes not part of the melody or harmony. From my seat in the back, it was a mess. I kept my mouth shut to listen more to this wreck of a congregation choir. And I smiled.
I smiled at their attempt. At their offering, meager as it was, it was offered with heart and sincerity. No doubt it was received in heaven with love and I believe, I really believe that when our voices reach God’s ears He hears it always in perfect tune, the rhythm moving just right. He receives our offerings, the ones given in truth and willingness and sincerity, He takes them as gifts laid on an altar of service and love.
I’m no singer. Not me. The rhythm I’ll have down, every sway and hesitation I’ll feel it, know it. But the tune gets lost in my head without something to guide me. I’m the worst kind of musician who knows just enough to know good from mediocre and worse. Most of the time I sing along in worship but not this day. My silent voice allowed God’s joy to be heard in the barely mediocre singing from a group of men who may miss the notes of the songs, but know the tune of God.
2 thoughts on “The tune of God”
“Though on earth the echoes ring And then seem to disappear… Every song of love lives on Where God can hear.”
Lovely words, Katharine. Thank you!