I didn’t sing in four years.
Thursday was my first.
I was a member of a Bible College choir which toured in other Philippine provinces in the 70s and sang bass in a quartet. Besides the church choir, I also was a member of a Singing Christmas Tree, one December, in Port Arthur, Texas. Climbing up that 36-foot Christmas tree-shaped choir loft when all the lights were out; then suddenly hearing the “oh’s and ah” of the audience once the flashing colored tree lights were turned on, a second before we sang the first note of the Christmas cantata, was exhilarating.
However, I hibernated for four years like a ground squirrel at winter time. My love for singing was below normal heavily affected by the changing times. Praise God! I finally woke up.
This past Thursday, I opened my mouth again to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord”. I signed in to join the Sanctuary Choir at Lake Avenue Church, the biggest church in Pasadena, California.
And surprised! It’s my first to know that past the church’s underground parking garage is the music department office where the choir rehearsals are held. For four years of regular attendance at Lake Avenue Church’s eleven o’clock Sunday service, I wasn’t aware of this.
I started to get nervous while I took the elevator down to the church basement. Mind you, I even stuck my name tag upside down without realizing it. Thanks to Richard, whose eyes was not only sharp enough to see those dotted quarter notes but also keen to see (and congenially corrected) the tag. The Sanctuary Choir has more than a hundred members, so imagine me intimidated. Nevertheless, I started to relax after the opening prayer, which was followed by muscle and voice stretching and constant “phonology” reminder- for us to enunciate the plosive bilabial /p/ and /b/, the velar /k/ and whatnot's- as the rehearsal went on. As if I was back in my phonology graduate course, but I loved it.
I know; God has blessed me with a voice fit for a choir; however, there were some unpleasant moments in my life that I wittingly withdrew from using it. A huge blow happened seven months ago, but it also was a turning point for me to hone the inherent talent that God has given me. I thank God for He patiently waited for me to sing praises again.
NOTE: Besides singing, God also has gifted me a talent in creative writing. My second book, PRAISING ALL SEASONS LONG: Haiku Verses has just been released by Comfort Publishing. It is a gift book with 145 praise haiku verses, which can be ordered now on Comfort’s online store. Barnes and Noble bookstore also has announced that it will be carrying PRAISING… beginning March. Barnes and Noble is now accepting pre-orders. A discounted price of $8.99 is offered to bookstore’s subscribers. Surely, it is cheaper than a dozen roses and a better gift to people who needs affirmation that our God is still in control of everything, despite this time of trials and uncertainties.
Currently, I am working on the HEALING GARDEN OF VERSES, a collection of haiku and senryu verses, and pitching to a publisher my completed book project, BEDTIME-PASTIME: A Collection of Short Stories and Folktales.