I sing in church sometimes…only when the Holy Spirit makes it so clear that I have to share a song that I can’t even think clearly anymore. I know that I am supposed to share a song in worship when my heart rate hits about 180 bpm when I hear or think of the song. It’s not easy for me. Sometimes, well, most of the time, I am Spirit-dragged into the sanctuary. I get the runs approximately 4 times during the hours leading up to worship. I mediate, I deep breathe, I pray in English, I pray in tongues, and I repeat the process until I am planted on the stage. Even through the intro, I continue to inhale *breathe in love* and exhale *breathe out fear*.
Now, it’s not about me. I’m the vehicle. I pray that I stay out of the way. If God wants to speak to people through my offering, that is in His power, and I just cooperate as the vessel. But it is still so scary. It is scary because I feel so fundamentally inadequate–as a human, as a voice, as a delivery system. And this is not Godly humility. It is insecurity, self-hate, and self-effacement. It is some weird backwards worship of self. It is the idea that I can use my gifts when they are perfect, so that no one can find fault in my performance, not even me. That’s not about God. That is all about me.
What brings life to my soul? Where do I shine the brightest? Where do people ask for me to serve? What talents are we burying out of fear, insecurity, and really, underneath it all, self-worship and self-preservation? The thing is that what brings life to my soul will give life to others who witness my light. As Jen Hatmaker says in For the Love, everyone else is grinning while we run our race.
I’m not doing anyone any favors by staying away from the microphone. I was made to sing. That was clear from the beginning. While we are on the topic of gifts, I was also created to write. I manage to convince myself (or the enemy of my soul convinces me) that I am deluded in presuming that I have anything to offer. But wait! That doesn’t make sense. I am a child of God, created with gifts. We all are. What if we all just collapsed, paralyzed with fear that we weren’t enough? That our talent just wasn’t far enough out of the park? That we couldn’t win on America’s Got Talent, so why even bother? How void would our world be of joy, and of beauty?
It takes risk. We have to be brave. And we have to stand up against the lies and expose them for what they are. We are burning with passion, and it is there for a reason.