I am a father. I have three kids – River, 9, Seth, 7, and Magnolia, 4. Along with my wife, Heather, they are the joy of my heart. One of the things that I’ve observed about my kids is that they love to sing, and from what I’ve heard from other parents, this is pretty common. At any given moment, my house is echoing with the sounds of all three kids singing the unrehearsed, free-form verses of their heart. Their song is irrepressible: always erupting from within, splashing my home with sound and joy. They are always singing. They sing quietly in their rooms. They sing loudly with tiny blue earbuds stuffed into their ears. They sing their sorrows, though usually it’s a song of joy that can be heard. They sing songs with words they know and sometimes the words and melodies are new, as fresh as the moment in which they are sung. Children sing.
I should also tell you that, as their father, I get great joy out of hearing them. I love listening to life processed through innocent hearts. I love these songs because they let me know where my children are. When I listen I immediately know where they are in the house and where they are in their heart. I love hearing River sing in the shower. I love hearing Seth sing in the backseat of the car. I love hearing Magnolia sing alone in her room while she’s playing with her toys. I think they sound great.
We were all born with a song. We were all born loaded with meter and melody–though some of us come with a more refined version. There is something in the human heart that can only be expressed through a song. We were hard-wired this way, and it’s good.
I’m also pretty sure that I’m not the only father that gets a great deal of pleasure out of hearing his children sing. I’m positive that the same is true of our Heavenly Father!
For those of us who feel called and compelled to write songs for the local church, let’s not lose sight of the fact that we are sons and daughters of God. Let’s write and sing from “home,” that place where we have his affection and approval. Some of us want to serve our brothers and sisters with songs that connect us all to our common Father. Of course, that’s good: let’s be sure it flows from “home”.
Some of us feel completely overwhelmed in trying to write something that’s catchy, singable, and doctrinally correct. Sometimes the best starting place is alone in your room, with the “edit” button turned off. I promise that God finds pleasure when he overhears you.
Now I’m not going to lie, this is the long road. Few people would take note of the songs that my kids sing or the art projects that they bring me, let alone find great joy in them as I do. I’m pretty sure that none of the other boys or girls in Magnolia’s preschool class are impressed with her voice, or her ability to turn a phrase, but there is a good chance, if she keeps singing, keeps creating, in a few years they’ll all be joining in.
Let’s hear it for “home” and our loving Father who hears it all.