“Hey, I wrote a song yesterday, Mom.”
“Really? What about? It is a Christian song?”
“Uh, no--not exactly.” I plopped down in my overstuffed chair and held the cordless phone up to my ear.
I could hear the clank of dishes on the other end of the line. As usual, my mom was preparing a Sunday afternoon meal for a few couples from her church. We affectionately call it “Linner” because for some people, it’s a late lunch and for others, an early dinner. Throughout the local church community, my mom was known as an exceptional cook, and rightfully so. Her specialty was Italian and she could fill a kitchen with the smell of parmesan, garlic, and fresh, baked bread faster than anyone I knew. I was aware that I was interrupting her with my phone call, but I was excited to tell her about the new song I had just plunked out on my guitar the day before.
But her question caught me off guard.
Was it a Christian song?
I thought about the lyrics I had written yesterday afternoon. Not a single line in any of the verses and absolutely nothing in the chorus mentioned Jesus, God, or the Bible.
It can’t be a Christian song than can it?
Then it dawned on me. I sat up in my chair.
“Actually, Mom, now that I think about it, it is a Christian song.”
“That’s great, honey! I’d love to hear it sometime!” I could tell she was holding the phone with her shoulder because her voice was louder from being pressed right against the receiver. I heard the oven door slam shut.
“As a matter of fact, when you think about it, Mom…” I paused reflectively before continuing. “Kurt Warner threw a Christian touchdown pass last Sunday against Green Bay to win the game.”
“What do you mean?” She chuckled, but never missed a beat. I heard the ding of a microwave and the “clip-clop” of her heels as she marched across the kitchen tile.
“And David Robinson shot Christian jump-shots for fourteen years with the San Antonio Spurs!”
“Honey, what are you talking about?” The clamor stopped moentarily. “Are you being sarcastic?”
“No, Mom, I’m being serious. The two professional athletes I just mentioned are both Christians.”
“Uh, huh?” She was curious to know what I my point was. An electric can-opener hummed noisily in the background.
I continued, excited about my spiritual epiphany.
“This morning, outside my bedroom window, a pair of sparrows sang the Alleluia chorus. Then later, as I sat on the couch reading, the sun shone a warm ray of praise over my shoulder.”
I could hear the doorbell ring in the background. My mom covered the receiver and yelled for my Dad to get the door.
“All I am saying, Mom, is that when we use the talents and abilities God has given us to His glory, don’t you think we are praising him? So my song is a Christian song even though I never use the words God or Jesus.”
“I never thought of it that way, but you’ve got a good point there.”
“Mom, it’s like when the yellow roses in your front yard bloom every spring, or remember last Saturday, when those two hawks soared above the canyon at the park? Or even when Lucky wags his tail as he chases his ball—God rejoices in each one because they are doing what He has created them to do.”
“That’s a great way to put it, honey! You should make that into a song!”
“Maybe I will.”
My mom gasped and I could hear the oven door creak open.
“Oh no, I think I just burnt the Christian lasagna!”
I Peter 4:10-11
1As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who utters oracles of God; whoever renders service, as one who renders it by the strength which God supplies; in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (RSV)
Hope A. Horner, 2004