Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Song in My Heart (Part I)

I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.... He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord." 
(Psalm 40:1-3)

As a young girl, I was blessed to worship at a little church that sat humbly at the foot of the street where I grew up. On Sunday mornings, I walked down the street with my neighbor to start the week there. All I knew at the time is that I was drawn to the stillness, the Eucharist, and the singing. In many ways, that little space was home.

One of God's greatest gifts to me has been to birth a song in my heart. At work, some call me the 'singing doctor,' which my choir conductor friend will surely find humorous. (Loving to sing is not the same as being gifted in singing! And please read the entire post for an important disclaimer below.) Still, it seems no matter what I experience in life, a song always emerges in my soul as a companion through trials and a reminder of God's presence until the storms subside.

As I reflect on years of trials and joys, so many songs stand out. Like the time my car was rear-ended while Roberto Arellana's song (Árbol Sin Raíces) blasted in my car. I remember getting hit and continuing to sing while getting out of the car. Praising God stilled me right when I needed it, as when Mary's Magnificat welcomed new life when I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. Angels heralded her arrival, and I knew it because of a song.

I remember a tough day months ago when it seemed every good thing I tried to do for my patients was met by walls of resistance. Out of the blue, a nurse stopped me in the hallway and shared a song she said I had to hear right then. So I stopped to listen to Great Are You Lord and joined their song of praise. A two-minute pause for a spiritual drink flooded my soul with God's presence, transforming my day.

It's Your breath in our lungs ... so we pour out our praise to You only, proclaims the song. Indeed, my praise belongs to the One who is always on time and whose love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8).

I've learned that praise is powerful. No matter what I face in life, I pray God's song will always emerge from my soul, lifting me into His presence where I may "be still and know" that He is God (Psalm 46:10).

And I pray the same for you.

God's Masterpiece in New Smyrna Beach, FL. © 2014, ASW

Sing!
Dr Mari

By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me — a prayer to the God of my life. 
(Psalm 42:8)

The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
(Zephaniah 3:17, NKJV)

I took the photo this summer in New Smyrna Beach, Florida the most breathtaking sunrise I've ever seen.

Human Physician Disclaimer: I wish I could say I'm always the 'singing doctor.' I'm a work in progress, though I sing much more than I used to (and less today than I will tomorrow!). I owe much of my joy at work to the wonderful people God continues to place around me. My teams (and my patients) are a tremendous blessing.

To hear a singing doctor welcoming babies into our world, read Part II of A Song in My Heart. (Don't worry ... it's not me! This one can sing.)

For a related story, see God's Song.

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