Ok, I had shared part of a testimony as a reply under the first "listening prayer" posting ... what was interesting timing is that very day when I wrote this 2nd part, I later ran into the cantata director to get his permission to share his part in it. I had only met him at the cantata last Christmas, otherwise I don't see him. We were both dropping our kids off at camp at the same time. Anyway, I wanted to make sure it was ok with him, before I publicly shared his part in my "snarky" attitude on the CRC network.
Ok, here’s the rest of the story … So, my son and I showed up at the first cantata practice and I find out he didn’t need to be there, so now I’m annoyed. I bring him to the church library so he can read while I practice, which makes me one of the last ones in. As I walk in, this is where the Spirit prompts “you might want to get some Kleenex” and I think with annoyance, “why would I need Kleenex for practice?” As I continue to walk in, I realize that I’m going to have to sit front and center. Right in front of the director. Now I’m not just annoyed, but irritated as well. Grrr… I wanted to be anonymous in the crowd of 100 or so. Then the director (and I got his permission to share this=), makes us do these “dumb” warm-up exercises. While we have to stretch and raise our hands, my thoughts are, with much irritation in my attitude, “this is ridiculous, we don’t even raise our hands in church when we worship, why would we do it for practice?”
So now I’m annoyed, irritated and torqued. Not good. Everyone else is laughing and having fun, and I’m mad. I don’t even dare look at the director, because I’ll just glare - not very Christ like. We start singing the first verse of the first song, and I have no awareness of what I’m singing because I‘m so mad. We get to verse 2, and sing “no crying He makes.” The Holy Spirit breaks through my bad attitude and instantly hits me with Hebr. 5:7; Jesus prayed with loud cries and tears in His days on earth. My mind starts praying, “Oh Jesus, You did cry, intensely, with loud cries and tears” and my heart begins to melt. The next line is “I love Thee LORD, Jesus.” So, as I sing this, I start praying, “Oh Jesus, I love Thee, I love You Jesus…” and my heart melts some more. Then, the awareness hits. I’m singing Away in a Manger. And I think, “OH NO, I’m already becoming a basket case and we haven’t even made it to verse 3. What am I going to do? I’m never going to make it through v3. I don’t have any Kleenex! Do I stay and hope it’s manageable or do I go and get Kleenex?” If I left, would I come back? Probably not.” So my mind went back and forth, stay, go, stay, go.
I don’t know if I really decided, or if it was pride that made me stay, because I didn’t want to draw any attention to me as I walked out with my tears and “other fluids” streaming down my face. I unrealistically hoped v3 was going to be manageable, but it wasn’t. I had to put my sweater sleeve to use. You see, when our first son was stillborn, it was just before Christmas. So when we sang Away in the Manger v3 that Christmas, with “bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,” it had new meaning for my husband and I as we now had a child in His tender care. Whenever I sing that now, I’m reminded of all the children, mine included that are with Him.
So, by now I’m a mess, “undone“ … I can’t really sing anymore, but I‘m very aware in my spirit of what we‘re singing. Then we go to the song “Lully, Lullay” - a song that starts as a lullaby about the baby boys that were murdered by Herod. During this song, I can barely breathe, let alone sing. If you have ever experienced intense grief, where your throat constricts, and you have to concentrate on breathing, that’s what happened. God had melted the hardness in my heart. He wanted me to grieve with Him over the children being murdered. He didn’t want me singing unaware of the words. He didn’t want me singing with a bad attitude. He didn’t want me singing with a happy clappy, this is fun attitude either. He wanted me “singing” with an awareness of His grieving heart for His precious children being brutally murdered today, under the legal banner of abortion. Similar to the baby boys being killed in Bethlehem. Because I had lost my own son before he was born, I could truly grieve with Him. I don’t think it was until the performance that I sang that song without tears. I still cry when I think about it.
Interestingly, in the last 6 mos. there has been some unusual breakthroughs in the support for life... one significant one being that the US house of reps in February voted (about 240 to 190ish) to totally defund planned parenthood from any gov't support.
Anyway, I hope you can relate ... I'm being very honest with my experience, so that it hopefully triggers you being reminded of a similar experience of "hearing Him" in your walk with Him.