Photo Credit: Kairut Murataliev @kaito_murataliev
“Yet in some holy place within us, God lives and moves and has being.” (2 Cor. 6:16)
A smiling, disheveled woman is led to the front of the small church, clutching her white cain. Her shirt is stained, and her clothing seems haphazardly thrown together. Her eyes are shut, and the guitarist guides her to a spot where she is to stand. The guitarist begins strumming. Both women are standing in front of me in this small storefront church.
The blind woman begins shaking a bit. Perhaps she is caught off guard, having not seen a visual cue of the song’s beginning. Hands to her sides, it is noticeable her right hand has been maimed in some way. She holds it awkwardly. After a few words of the guitarist’s singing, the blind woman joins in, and trails off on some words. Together, the song is beautiful and people are joining in. Children in the front and side rows are compelled to pirouette and spin.
I am struck at how she offers her voice–courageously, however imperfect. The scene breaks my heart in the best way.
True beauty is in offering ourselves, our true selves, however broken, however imperfect, as worship to the Lord.
Her voice flows from a sacred place deep within–a joyful noise she offers up. I am wholly and holy-encouraged. I think to myself that this picture is of me–walking blindly and feebly toward God, not clearly seeing the way but being led with each step in trust and faith, offering my voice to Him.
The woman takes her seat after the song. The service culminates and I’m compelled to meet this courageous singer. I walk up and introduce myself and tell her what a blessing her song was to me. She tells me she’s been attending this church for quite some time. Though I have visited a few times having just moved to the city, this is the first I’ve seen her. She tells me it’s hit or miss that she’ll be in attendance as she takes public transportation from fifteen minutes away and sometimes, depending on who’s riding the bus, there may be an hour’s worth or longer of stops and she may miss the service to only end up back where’s she’s started from.
“But as a friend told me, ‘Your arms are too short to box God’” she laughs. “And so I just say, ‘Okay, Lord’.”
I am lifted up by the story of this song arriving and carry it with me in my heart, humbled and stronger.