HER SOUND STUCK!
BY DR. DEBBIE LANIER
Have you ever witnessed the sun peeking bashfully out from the night until it finally rises to dance upon the ocean waters? Words fall flat as I try to convey the experience. But if you ever witness the splendor of a sunrise by the sea, words seem unnecessary. The encounter speaks its own language.
Mama loved the beach. Every time we visited, she kept a standing appointment with each sunrise. She tried not to wake me as she bounced out of bed before dawn like a giddy child at Christmas.
I rarely opened my eyes, but I heard it all unfold. She would tiptoe around the kitchen, then whiffs of caffeinated nectar brewing would soon fill the room. Minutes later the balcony door would glide open and shut across its worn tracks. Mama toted her coffee and her Bible to greet the dawning of God’s morning masterpiece.
I heard only silence for the first while. Mama feasted on God’s Word like a thirsty soul discovering springs of refreshing water. She believed that in those moments the Creator of that vast ocean spoke directly to her . . . and He did.
Some time later, the silence typically ceased. With a sound so faint I could barely discern the words, Mama’s lips spilled with melodies of Praise. The familiar tunes hinted toward well-known lyrics.
My sweet mama would be the first to admit that she carried no exquisite gift in song. But in that moment, she didn’t sing for others. She was making the sound of Worship to the One she knew delighted in her feeble attempt.
As Mama’s sound swelled with intensity, it was the clear sign that the sun had come out of hiding. As this beautiful manifestation of God’s splendor danced across the ocean waters, Mama sang louder, stopping intermittently to Praise Him like she couldn’t help herself. Her spirit leaped with thanksgiving. Mama marveled with awe at this magnificent creation fashioned by the fingertips of this Majestic LORD who bent down in that moment to be with her. Those intimate encounters never grew stale.
Mama never realized she had an audience. She assumed my still body slept through it all. But I left each of those secondhand sunrise experiences pondering the sacred sounds in my heart.
This morning, I sit upon a familiar beach balcony. I rose early to experience the same wonder Mama witnessed. She’s been gone for a while now. I don’t get to gift her with birthday trips to the beach anymore. I don’t get to lie awake with my eyes closed while she makes her sound. Here I sit, alone. I can’t see Mama savor the sunrise. But I can hear her.
That beautiful sound of worship she made each time she watched God tell the sun to get up again . . . it’s forever etched in my memory. In fact, Mama’s sound so impacted my life that I find myself sitting here this morning making my own sound of Praise as I read His Living Word, the Word that leaps off the page into my soul.
Mercy, I miss her. I can’t see her but oh, I can hear her. May my sound unto Heaven be so intimate and emphatic that when I’m gone, even though my children can’t see me, they can hear me—not only in their memories but woven through their OWN sound unto Him.
Happy Birthday, Mama! Your sound stuck! May my sound stick, too!