I have begun this post several times, and no words feel sufficient enough to convey the wonder of the privilege I've had the past 3 months to be in our local church choir. To put things into words feels like it will minimize a wondrous reality. I fear giving you anything less than reverence for these sisters. Their friendship is so much sweeter than candy and more precious than gold. I have been torn between wanting to post tons of videos and pictures and wanting to tuck it all safely away to savor for myself. I will attempt to find middle ground. We could learn a lot from them.
One of the first reasons I loved Africa was for her music. The rich harmonies, rhythms melt my heart on the coldest of days. The youth and Sunday school choirs usually sing in the French service we attend, but last Christmas the Mama's choir, La Lumiere ('the light'), came to sing in the French service for a change. They did so well and looked like they were having so much fun, I felt compelled to beg them to let me sing along - even just once.
They welcomed me, so I began attending rehearsals every other morning bright and early, feverishly scribbling down words I didn't fully understand. It took about 2 weeks before I felt ready to try dancing along and another one before I performed with them. Anna tells me often how 'good we sing' and loves to watch.
Here is a screenshot from the video of my 'debut':
No more shoes with heels for me!
(Sylvie had to give me serious scarf-tying assistance.
My slippery hair kept rebelling.)
Several performances later in various churches around town, I can understand a WHOLE lot more of what is going on. This is the best language practice ever! Every time I enter the grounds for a rehearsal I feel keenly that I am on holy ground. Here we practice a tough song about the futility of worldly ways (I'm not laughing at the song, only at my own foibles):
These women are some of my favorite people on the planet.
The community they share is phenomenal to me.
A sisterhood like none I have ever imagined.
They visit the sick.
They give to those in need.
And share some more.
They serve others.
They truly are a Light in this dark place.
I know they have been a Light to me, even a clumsy mouse in the corner.
Guess I can't call myself a 'mouse'... giraffe?