One night, I couldn’t sleep because I was coughing, my throat was irritated, and I felt weak. Initially, I was worried because I was the substitute soloist for a Christian Science branch church service the following morning. There was no one else to call to cover for me. I knew it was right for me to show up. However, when I awakened in the morning, I couldn’t speak, let alone sing.
I had risen extra early that morning, knowing the commute to church would take about an hour and giving myself time to pray. I needed to keep moving to make it to church early, but I also felt the importance of keeping my thought moving forward spiritually. Feeling well enough to drive, I got in my car and began my commute. Setting aside this extra time in the morning proved helpful because I was led to pull off to the side of the road and pray.
I specifically remember bowing my head. This was my way of showing humility and respect to God. Then, in silent prayer I asked Him to reveal to me what I needed to know to bring healing to this situation. Two quotes attributed to Jesus came to mind: “I can of my own self do nothing” (John 5:30), and “The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10).
With that reminder, I recognized that when one identifies oneself as a singer or soloist, personal sense or ego can sometimes present itself. But God was showing me that because He is All-in-all, He is the only singer, He is the only soloist. I realized in that moment that talent is simply God’s expression of Himself as seen in man—that it is impersonal good manifested.
I realized that I had to depersonalize my view of things, including my singing. I began to see more clearly how absolutely All God is, and as His reflection, I am entirely an individual expression of Him. With that realization, I bent my head even lower. I remember saying, “Father, I’m sorry if I ever felt that I could do anything without You. This is Your church service, Your musical offering, Your song.”
I then moved my car safely back into traffic and finished the trip. Normally I would then rehearse with the organist, but that morning we agreed to stay quiet in prayer. Just before going out onto the platform to begin the service, I remember silently saying these words: “Father, ‘sing’ me, ‘pray’ me, ‘stand’ me.”
In a Christian Science church service, the congregation sings two hymns before the soloist performs. During the first hymn, my voice was barely there, but with each phrase it became stronger. I felt so improved after the second hymn that when I rose to sing the solo, my voice felt considerably restored. As I sang the opening line, my voice improved with each word until suddenly I was in full voice. I was quickly healed of all discomfort in my throat and was able to perform the rest of my solo with clarity and strength. It has been several years since this healing, and I have never again lost my voice. I continue to praise God in prayer and song.
The opening words of the solo that morning were from Psalms 34:4 and coincided perfectly with my healing: “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
From this healing I learned that there is no basis for personal prowess or pride, because everything good is done through God. And from that memorable day forward, I began looking for the presence of humility in me or in another when listening to a performance of any kind.
Quincy, Massachusetts, US