Amidst the vitriol and verbal violence of this year’s election cycle comes the voice of an angel singing in the shower. It is a celestial melody; it is salve for our wounded ears and balm for our weary souls.So, whose is the voice we hear?In staff meeting yesterday, my colleagues sp…
Amidst the vitriol and verbal violence of this year’s election cycle comes the voice of an angel singing in the shower. It is a celestial melody; it is salve for our wounded ears and balm for our weary souls.
So, whose is the voice we hear?
In staff meeting yesterday, my colleagues spoke about a recent Facebook posting of three-year-old Ellison. They smiled, laughing and talking about what a great singer this little guy is and how sweet the video was. “How did I miss this?” I thought to myself. Immediately following our meeting, I went and looked up momma Christyn Baer’s post. Scroll down a ways and, sure enough, the anonymous phone camera shows a nondescript little figure sitting on the shower floor behind a foggy door, a little puddle of sweetness playing in the artificial rain.
What do angels sing, you ask? Hohwee, hohwee, hohwee! What was initially most impressive to me was Ellison’s tonal memory. With a sense of pitch which puts many of us adults to shame, this toddler nails it. Along with that, the boy’s word recall is also remarkable, particularly for barely three years old! Astonishing, actually!
Yes, Ellison was singing last Sunday’s processional hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” We sing this hymn fairly often at Woodland, perhaps three times per year. How in the world could this little guy sing that melody and that text with such little repetition? It’s not like we’re singing it every Sunday around here!
Something tells me that Ellison’s mom and/or dad have been singing to and with their children. What a gift! May we all hear this as a Macedonian call to sing to, for, and with all the children in our care! What we teach little ones through song is so much more than only the words, mere melody, or just the surface meanings of the texts we sing together. With songs of faith, we are teaching our children (and ourselves) that God is still Lord of All, no matter what the world dishes out in the way of disappointments, challenges, terrors, and fears.
For years, you’ve heard me and the YouthCUE team go on and on about the power of music in teenagers’ lives. You know that I believe scripture set to music is part of a spiritual foundation every kid needs. But what we may fail to realize is just how quickly children pick up on, memorize, and internalize the songs we teach them. Ellison has reminded us they are so quick, so smart, and so malleable at young ages. What are we waiting for?
Yes, Ellison’s tonal memory is what first caught my attention—you would expect that from me, I guess. But upon further thought, what impresses me the most is how serious he was about singing his little heart out. It reminded me of the text of one of our anthems, The Majesty and Glory of Your Name, where the text says, ” … little children praise you perfectly, and so would we.”
Yes, Lord, and so would we!
Thank you, Ellison, for being our teacher! —Randy Edwards