Many years ago, I moved from the small market town of my birth in Yorkshire to London to become a student. It was a great cultural shock, even in Church terms; I was catapulted from a small branch into a thriving multi-national ward. There was a particular sister I remember for all the very best reasons; she loved the Lord. The Lord has commanded us to attend church on the sabbath, and she was always there. When the Bishop needed any help, this sister always volunteered, and when he announced that the ward choir needed more members, she joined.
This kind sister had a unique voice; it was loud and shrill and always a fraction off key. She sang with enthusiasm, despite her rather obvious lack of natural talent, and went to every practice. She also paid to have singing lessons.
I’ve never forgotten her because she taught me several important lessons. The choir leader was a professional opera singer and I marvelled at her patience and understanding, and how she didn’t let an obviously difficult situation dampen her enthusiasm. But most of all, I marvelled at the sister who couldn’t sing. She obviously loved the Lord with all her heart. Anything that was asked of her she willingly did. She did not use any excuse for not accomplishing what was asked. The choir needed members and she was going to do her bit. She worshipped God in song, though it was not one of her talents. She sang the same way that she loved the Lord—with all her heart.
She taught me to live the Gospel as she did, happily doing whatever was asked. I may not do it as well as someone else could do it, I may not get through each day perfectly in tune with the Spirit, but I should keep trying and refuse to make excuses for not giving my best—even when my best falls short of perfection.
This sister has probably passed away by now, and joined the heavenly choir, and been gifted with the voice of an angel. To my mind, she has earned it.