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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Embarrassment (01/12/12)

TITLE: The First Verse
By Jennifer Porter


Singing for the early service was always the hardest of the three, because sound checks and rehearsal were required. Looking at the offending alarm clock with heavy lids I started my morning ritual. Pray, dress and warm up the voice. I was singing a song I knew well, so I gave the words a quick glance and awakened my three young sons and husband to get ready for church.
The morning preparations and sound check went well and the service began. While sitting behind the pulpit I found myself wondering why we had three services when only a handful of people came at eight o’ clock. Carefully yawning to open my throat I noticed the sun filtering through the dusty Arizona windows and a roadrunner skittering past at high speed. Taking a cleansing breath I rose as the pianist began to play the introduction to the song. As was my custom I lifted up a prayer to God and took another long breath while awaiting my cue. Marion lifted her director’s hand and I nodded confidently before realizing my mind had gone completely blank! I couldn’t believe it; I couldn’t remember the words to the song. A crimson flush stained my fair face and as I stared at the people below and it was as if time slowed to a crawl. I sent an S.O.S to God and was relieved when words came out of my mouth at the proper cue. Unfortunately, they were not the words Twila Paris would have recognized, however, I was impressed with myself for not blowing the whole song. The lyrics flowed brilliantly from my mouth and my embarrassment faded. A quick glance at the music director told me she had not even noticed. Soon the verse was over and I was singing the chorus! Whew! The rest of the song went without incident and I left the platform proud of myself that the whole song was not a complete disaster. Pride swelled in my chest as I thought about my vocal training reminding a vocalist or actor not to visually react when they make a mistake. Most people listen with their eyes anyway and no one seemed to notice. I chuckled to myself that the real truth was that no one was actually listening anyway.
The eight o’ clock service came to an end and I began mentally preparing for the next two solos. Eager to get my hands on the sheet music so I would not make the same mistake, I eyed the exits. As I rose a diminutive elderly woman approached me. I didn’t know her face as she introduced herself, but that was not surprising since the only time I got up for the early service was to sing. She reached out and lightly touched my arm her eyes filling with unshed tears; I was used to compliments and smiled when she said the song was beautiful. Laughter nearly bubbled out as I thought, “If you only knew!” As I turned to leave she said, “the first verse, the first verse you sang, it was for me! God meant that first verse just for me!” She’d been suffering through a trial she said and continued, “It wasn’t the whole song, just the first verse. Isn’t that wonderful?” Her words shook me to the core; God had used me to speak to words of comfort to His Child. I hadn’t created lyrics out of thin air, I was simply a vessel used to minister.
In awe of God, a flush of shame flooded my soul, but this time because of my pride. The same pride that bathed my ego in smugness and self-satisfaction; then politely waited for a raving review! God took this opportunity to teach me humility and my true embarrassment was forgetting the opportunity he’d given me. My duty while serving was to worship God and minister to His flock for His glory alone, never mine. It is also a reminder to us all, that if we listen for the Shepherd’s voice, he will engrave His love song directly onto the walls of our heart.
Word Count: 692

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This article has been read 298 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Mull 01/19/12
Very well done, and a beautiful lesson for us all, whatever our area of expertise. I'm sure that embarrassment humbles us all.
C D Swanson 01/19/12
This was a beautiful testimony and witness to how amazing God is! Praise the Lord...I loved this entry. Truth always resonants in my heart and soul, and this touched me. Great job!

God Bless~
Ruth Tredway 01/19/12
Makes me wonder how often my own opinion of my performance has nothing to do with the work God was doing through me. Nicely written.
Nancy Bucca01/21/12
You do a nice job of taking us into the MC's feelings. How true that the times we feel so close to blowing it can actuallly be the times God uses us the most.
Cynthia Carter01/22/12
I loved this story. I hope it is a true because that is just how amazing God is.
Donna Edgar01/22/12
Oh,I have been there done that. It's just like the Lord to give 2 or more blessings all rolled up at the same time. Hard to miss the message He gives us, when we think we did such a great thing. This was a wonder re-telling. Thank you for the gentle reminder.
Linda Goergen01/22/12
Loved it...God ministered to the elderly woman and addressed your pride all in one shot! Humbling experience all the way around, but beautiful seeing God's handiwork! Thanks for sharing this wonderful testimony!
Brenda Rice 01/22/12
You did an outstanding job with MC. I felt the pride rise up and I felt the reality set in. Great lesson and well written.
diana kay01/23/12
great story and well told.... thanks for telling us it was true :-)i often wonder with stories