I’m doing something very new to me.
This Sunday, and the Sunday after, I’m singing a solo in an oratorio called “Lamb of God.” I’m playing the character of Thomas.
I’ve never, until three weeks or so ago, had a voice lesson. No training. Just a lot of singing loudly in church choirs and being told to “blend, Josh. Blend!” This is a total departure from what I know of myself as a musician–usually I’m in the orchestra. Not on stage, singing.
If I think about it too much, my hands go numb and my gut clenches and I want to crawl into my bed and not come out for a week and a half. But then, I also feel a surge of excitement, and a feeling that I know I’m supposed to be doing this. Remember when I mentioned in my New Year’s post that I would be fearless this year? That I would throw my hat in the ring and do things, even when they feel terrifying? Well, this is one of those moments.
There’s a whole, long story about how all of this came about that I might get into later. But for now I want you to know this one key thing: I have struggled so much to know how to articulate my thoughts around the policy that happened in November. My thoughts and feelings are incredibly complex, and my pain around it is deep and difficult to put in words. I have been unable to write about it, but please know that–hokey as this might sound–my singing of this song is part of my response to the policy. Words have largely failed me. But this music has encapsulated my emotions and hopes and feelings in a way I’ve never experienced before, and I mean that sincerely. I’ve never connected to music on this level, and the circumstances of me doing this were very providential.
So, if you live nearby and if you want to truly understand my feelings–not just about the policy, but about a great number of things–I would be honored if you came and saw my performance. This is an instance where, perhaps for the first time in my life, what I feel in my heart is better expressed not in written word, but in song. (I’m trying hard not to feel cheesy about how that sounds! Because I mean it.)
Please come. If your heart is hurting, come. If you feel confusion of any kind in your life, come to this performance. Not just to see me, but to experience this powerful piece of music, which has made me cry pretty much every day for the last three weeks. The entire oratorio is a treatise on Christ, on His atonement and sacrifice, and on why we are permitted to have hope in the face of cruelty, death and profound difficulty. (Here I go again, trying to describe something in words that can be better described in music.)
If you have a heavy heart for any reason, or just need a spiritual pick-me-up; if you feel disenfranchised and frustrated; if your faith has taken a hit, and you need to feel God’s love, this performance will be a safe place for you.
Come. Enjoy this music. Celebrate the ministry of Christ.
Watch me do something utterly terrifying.
And please, whether you come or not, say huge prayers for me that I’ll be able to do this scary thing with courage and a solid sense of self, in a way that’s pleasing to God.