Music has always been a way for me to connect to God. When I was much younger, and when I was still an only child and my parents worshiped the ground I walked on, (sometimes I miss those days) my mom would take the time to sing me to sleep with hymns she had learned in her youth, and so every night I would fall asleep with songs of God’s love on my heart. In this way, I experienced God first through the faith of my family and the music that they gave me. I continued to find God in music as I grew a bit older. The first time I consciously felt God’s presence was when I went to “grown-up church” with my parents, probably because I was bored of Sunday school, and instead of having a traditional worship service a cellist came and played a small concert. All I remember from the performance is being in awe of such a soulful instrument. I have since thought that God’s voice must sound like the cello.
The next time I experienced God through music was when I accepted him as my savior. My life had taken a dark turn over the preceding years and I was aching to experience God and so, starving for hope and weighed down by the heft of my burdens, I trudged along to a camp-side sing-a-long with a dozen other 6th graders. While we sang praise to God, I felt him move in my heart, and in the midst of depression and grief, he planted joy inside of me. That is when I decided to follow God.
In the years that followed I continued to grow in my love for Jesus and experience him through music. I found myself worshipping through practicing piano, singing along to the radio, playing cello in orchestra (I wonder what could have inspired me to play the cello…), and through a wonderfully crazy twist of events, I found myself singing praise to God amidst a flock of Romanian orphans. The Americans sang the lyrics in English while the Romanians sang in, well, Romanian. Our languages awkwardly meshed together in a weird sort of conglomeration of words and indefinable gibberish. It was awesome. In the midst of our singing I felt God move in my heart and fill me with love for the Romanians. Singing in worship is a way for people from all walks of life can come together and share the same purpose: praising God. Where my story started with the nurturing care of my parents, the orphans present found God through the love of the leaders in Open Roads Ministry. Now, I am itching to go back and I can’t wait to live life alongside the orphans and Romanian leaders. Music is a tangible way to hear God’s voice, and when we all sing in worship together, we experience God as a community, and what a blessing it is to be able to seek furthering God’s kingdom together.