With the passing of well known pastor and singer (amongst apostolics), Brother Murrell Ewing, I have been thinking a lot about music. This has come about because, like so many others since Brother Ewing's passing, I have listened and watched him on youtube. I have been touched by his thorough, unabashed love for the Lord and anointing, both in preaching and singing. Whether or not one liked his musical style, nobody could deny that he was anointed.
In one of his videos, he was telling the congregation that when his daughter Vonnie Lopez (also very well known for her musical ability among apostolics) was a child, she did not appear to be musical at all. His son, Landy, from a very early age was obviously talented, so he and his wife, Joan Ewing (fabulous songwriter) found themselves praying in earnest that God would bestow this gift upon their daugther as well. This is where the video clip ended, but it is obvious that we know the end of that prayer, for we know the talent of Vonnie Lopez.
I then watched the archive of Brother Ewing's homegoing/funeral service online. Near the end of the service, they played a clip of the last time their family was together for Thanksgiving. At this gathering, in the midst of their family's usual singing and playing, Brother Ewing started unexpectly praying. They were blessed to be able to get his praying on video and played it. I have transcribed a portion of his prayer, particularly the part he prayed about music:
"I want to thank You for the beautiful, beautiful family that You not only gave us in these yesterdays of my mother and daddy's life, I want to thank You for what You've given Joan and I. And let me say thank You right now before I go any further with this prayer, let me thank You that You gave our family the knowledge and an ear to be able to hear music. So many people cannot enjoy music like we are enjoying this tonight. They just don't have an ear to hear it. It's kind of like Jesus said about some of his followers, He said, "You just don't have an ear to hear." And that's so true in so many people's lives. But You've given us not only the ability to hear music, You've given us the ability to harmonize and make music ourselves, and enjoy what we can produce. And we can get the blessing from that as well."
Let me say this right now: I think I have a new revelation. I guess I have always thought that God just chose whom He chose to have musical ability. I didn't know why He chose whom He chose. It is my belief (and remains so) that if God chose to give a person musical ability that they need to be very serious, careful and not big headed about it. Because of this, I have never been one to flaunt my own ability (at least that I know of).
What is a revelation to me is that a family can so enjoy music, bask in the wonder of it, talk about it, be well known because of it, and still be totally ANOINTED, CAREFUL AND HUMBLE about it. My brain has a hard time mixing the two. Although those in our family that are musical have gotten together and had fun jamming, none of us really talk about music outside our own family. We talk about it if we're asked, we sing if we're asked. I'm not saying that is bad, but I am saying that I almost feel like we've been scared to ENJOY IT TOO MUCH. And although I regularly ask the Lord to anoint my singing, I am ashamed to admit that I haven't often thanked Him for the ability to sing. Somewhere in my pea-sized brain it almost seemed to me that that prayer made me less than humble. (If you wonder where that came from, your guess is as good as mine).
What's also a revelation is the fact that if you ask the Lord, He may just make a previously non-musical person turn musical. Like Vonnie Lopez. Which again is warped because, come on, this is the Lord we're talking about.
And you know what? I've been asking like I've never asked before. I have a daughter who has surprised me by her piano playing ability. She has been told now by several people that she is advanced. She loves it. But she had never been able to sing. Although she is only eight, the singers in our family all could sing quite well much younger than that, so I assumed she would not be a singer. However, in the last few months she has been expressing a genuine desire to sing. She has been trying to hear harmony parts. And, since I've got my new "revelation", I've been praying for her. And you know what? Tonight in church (as she has done for the last few services) she is listening to me sing harmony. She sang harmony with me (we're talking high tenor) and for the first time tonight when I heard her singing it fairly effortlessly, I changed to soprano to see if she could keep it on her own.
AND SHE DID! FOR QUITE A WHILE! And she could not wipe the smile off her face when I gave her the thumbs up!
And you know what, I now have dreams of duets with my daughter. She could even play the piano and sing harmony at some point in the future. And you know what else?
I AM NOT GOING TO BE BASHFUL ABOUT IT! Although I won't flaunt it, I will enjoy what the Lord has done, REJOICE AND BE GLAD about it.
I am going to start praying for my son in earnest. He can't carry a tune in a wet paper bag.
Although tonight after the first song, he nudged my arm and informed me, very seriously, that:
"Just thought I'd let you know, mom, that I was singing the low part of this song."
And I grinned. You gotta love it. God is good.