Make a Joyful Noise
"His skin is the color of dove-gray suede, a shade lighter than his oversized suit jacket. The ever-present oxygen tank that is strapped against his body hisses quietly as its transparent tubes shake around his head, over his ears and into his nostrils. One of the guys in the choir is singing a bit off-key, it might be him. Yet the smile on his face as he sings lights up his corner of the room.
Forty-something with Down Syndrome, he could probably live a long life if it weren't for the physical problems that come with the disease. He used to run and play with the kids, now he enjoys teasing them. He is always ready with a smile, a greeting, a handshake, and a laugh.
I don't sing in the choir. I don't feel that my voice is good enough, and I am embarrassed by what people might think. Instead, I sit in the pews -- but I get a little twinge every time I see him shuffle up the stairs to the choir loft. Maybe someday his bold example will give me the courage to try."
I wrote this long ago. In 2006 actually. Ten long years ago.
The man I wrote about has passed away. He was an acquaintance who loved my kids and came into the clinic where I worked. Over the years I knew him he faded slowly. We randomly visited his church and I watched him in the choir that night, knowing what a struggle it must have been for him to breathe.
He never once failed to greet me with enthusiasm, or ask about the kids. Right up until he flew away to Jesus.
Until I ran across the Devozine devotional magazine that paid me for my words, my story, I kind of had forgotten Dwayne.
But. Maybe not really. I've been singing on the worship team for three years. I still don't feel confident with my voice. I still don't really know what I'm doing. But I felt like God's "Make a joyful noise" and "Let everything that has breath, Praise the Lord" mandates were meant for me. I have breath. He is worthy of praise. People like Dwayne showed me so. So I said yes.
Finding this devotional while I purged my last round of stuff encouraged me. Because maybe though we forget some of the details of the lessons we learn, the things that are etched on our hearts through emotional connections electrifying the truth of God's Word and His promises keep sparks deep down and alive. And God doesn't forget. What we ask for in His will He will make happen.
If you've been praying for something for a long time. Or you did pray a long time ago and have put it aside. Remember He is not constrained by time or our memories. He is a good God. Even in the midst of stinky circumstances. So I'm just going to remind myself and put it before Him again.
Lord, Jesus. Be with our little "orphan", our littlest foster sister who is so missed, and bring her safely back or completely heal her biological parents so they can raise her in hope, in You, in Truth and in safety. I think I can say that is Your will. That she will become Yours wholeheartedly. Please make it so. In Jesus Name, Amen.