June 11, 2012

Listening to Love

I'm sitting amongst a quiet, captivated audience at the Fillmore Concert Hall listening to my daughter sing.  She is confident and comfortable at the piano and in front of the crowd.  Her hands move gracefully along the keyboard as her fingers instinctively play the keys.  Her voice, a rapidly maturing instrument with budding layers of both sugar and soul, travels fluidly throughout the auditorium.  She woos the crowd, draws them in and holds them captive in the palm of her hand.

Her father and I sit stunned.  We stare at her in awe and listen attentively as pride and love wash over us.  I reach over and touch his arm and he looks at me and we smile.  Our eyes, rimmed with tears, communicate what words don't... she's amazing and she's ours and is this really the same girl who sometimes acts fifteen going on five but is now performing like she's fifteen going on twenty-five?  We shake our heads and laugh and bask in the beauty of this talented girl God has given us.

As I listen to her sing, savoring every lyric and sound, other voices beg for my attention.  Fear, worry and doubt knock on the door of my mind.  I hear their knock and dismiss it because I know better than to let those voices in.  But if I were to open the door, if I were to welcome them in, they would frantically greet me like this...

"How will she ever make it in the world of music?  She'll be eaten alive!  Is she strong enough?  Mature enough?  Are her values intact?  Is her heart captured by Jesus?   Will she hold fast to her faith or will she be corrupted by the world and abandon it?  Does she really have a future in the music industry?  Will she make it or be a starving artist?  Do you even want her to make it?  Fame and fortune aren't everything!  What if she sings at dark, smoky, seedy clubs?  Shouldn't she only sing christian music?  Isn't that safer?  Who will guide and manage her career?  Who could you possibly trust?  You don't know anything about the music industry!  What if people take advantage of her and use her gifts for their own gain?"

What if?  What if?  What if?  Blah.  Blah.  Blah.  On and on those voices would go if I let them, if I would listen.  But I'm not listening.  I won't listen.  I'm listening to Love instead.  Perfect Love.  The kind of love that casts out fear instead of welcoming it in.  Love that says...

"Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, 
for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  
Joshua 1:9

"Don't worry about anything instead pray about everything. 
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done."  
Philippians 4:6

"I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.  They are plans for peace and not for disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope."  
Jeremiah 29:11

And in listening to Love, I can confidently say with peace and trust and hope, "Sing on, Sweetheart...  Run in your glory and soar...  You are safe.  You are seen.  You are held.  God has you in the palm of his hand and your Daddy and I have your back.  You are free to be all you were ever intended to be and I can't wait to see what your future holds.  Sing on!"


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