My window’s open. The breeze is kindly cool, and beyond my window on the Jerusalem University College campus, across the Hinnom Valley… music. The Israeli Opera Company is performing Nabucco—how perfect.
(Quick synopsis: Nabucco is the Jewish account of the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, who leads the destruction of the Temple and subsequent Jewish enslavement in 586 BC.)
Seriously. How perfect. A marriage of so much of who I am right outside my window! These mercies are not lost on me.
Today, as I walked through the En Gedi, right near the Dead Sea, I kept muttering one of my favorite psalms that was read - Psalm 63:
God you are my God
Earnestly I seek you,
My soul thirsts for you
My body longs for you in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
And on it goes. You, you, you is repeated over and over again in that Psalm by King David who’s running from his son, Absalom, who’s trying to take his throne.
Nothing like the actual ancient location to drive home a point—dry, weary land, literally and figuratively speaking.
I haven’t sung for over four months. My hope was to come to Israel, continue to rest my voice and begin vocalizing when I return to the U.S. in a few weeks, to, by God’s grace, restore my voice. There’ve only been a couple of times on this trip where I actually felt the acoustics and location combined lent themselves to try out my voice (though feeling timid). Today in the En Gedi was one of them.
Why? As in the psalm:
Because your love is better than life
My lips will glorify you
I will praise you as long as I live
And in your name I will lift up my hands
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of food,
With singing lips my mouth will praise you.
I wonder if when King David was running from Absalom, he was taken back to the place in his life when he remembered the core of who he was. The core of who he was was a worshiper of God.
Being without my singing voice these last months has reminded me of how the simplicity of just singing - not necessarily opera or cutting loose into the stratosphere—is core to who I am. I, like David, am, at my core, a worshiper.
Music touches the deepest part of who I am, and takes me back to a childlike love and need of, and connection with God. Sort of like David going back to first things, like singing to God while serenading sheep.
Building a speaking ministry is heavy, complicated, demanding stuff. (Not as heavy as David’s being a ruler who’s son is usurping his throne, but still, heavy.) These things in life can sometimes cause you to misplace the very things that make up the core and basis of who you are.
For me, that’s worship. Music kinda worship.
Thanks for the psalm, Abba.
Oh, and thanks for the free opera through my window, too.
I’m real because God is so real.