Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five-Minute Friday prompt this week: Song.
Friends with birthdays were easy: Call ’em up and sing “Happy Birthday.” People about to take a trip got a customized “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane.” For a friend moving into the neighborhood, there was Mister Rogers’ “Please Won’t You Be My Neighbor.” A friend who lamented a bicycle’s flat tire on Facebook got a snippet of Queen, “I Want to Ride My Bicycle.” For someone who seemed restless, the selection was “Be Still, My Soul.” To someone stuck in darkness, it was “The Steadfast Love of the Lord.” With some people we sang together through the phone.
That was the year my new year’s resolution was “Sing to someone every day.” It changed to “sing to or with someone every day,” and then “Sing to or with someone as often as possible.” I didn’t make it every day. But it was a string of delights, to call someone, or to record a sound clip on the iPhone’s Voice Memo function and email it or send it to their smartphones.
There were many withs, but here’s my favorite: Laity Lodge, Texas hill country, morning worship, Ashley Cleveland and Kenny Greenberg leading about 80 souls gathered for a writers’ retreat. Ashley gently insisted we get out the songbooks for “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” and it was good that there weren’t enough to go around, because it meant we had to share. We stood; I held the right side, the grandfather beside me held the left side, and the book pulsed with the vibrations of all those voices.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
And that may have been more than 5, but I was headed somewhere and determined to get there.