Colossians 3:23 (New International Version)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
It came naturally to her. She started singing at a very young age. She would hear the sounds of the birds on early Spring mornings and make up a song only she understood.
Her Grandma would always encourage her.
"Sarah, sing sweetly!" Grandma would say and young Sarah would break into song.
"She has a natural voice," the minister said. "Have Mrs. Ellsworth work with her. We could use another tender young voice in the choir."
And so she joined. In fact, she grew up with the choir and through the years often led them with feature solos.
As Sarah climbed the stairs to the choir booth, she always scanned the congregation for Grandma. She wasn't hard to find. She always sat up front. As Sarah walked by she'd whisper, "Sarah, sing sweetly!" Sarah smiled knowing that she would.
Her high school and college years brought her talent into school musicals and local theater productions. Sarah knew she had a special gift from God and wanted to share it with the world.
"Sarah, sing sweetly!" she'd hear her Grandma say even when Grandma could not attend in those later years.
Yes, Sarah sang sweetly before thousands of people through her life, never once turning down the chance to make her Grandma proud.
That is until her Grandma passed away.
"Sarah, you know Grandma has requested that you sing at her funeral," her Mother reminded her.
"Oh, Mom. I can't. I could never get through it. I loved her so. I....I miss her Mom," she said as she cried the tears of a lost child.
But it was what Grandma wanted.
Dressed in a simple black outfit, seated in the front row where Grandma always sat whenever Sarah sang, she nervously awaited the moment.
The organist began to play, the choir joined in softly. Sarah took her place and stood there motionless, looking out the stained glass window near the alter.
The organist stopped. The church was silent. For the first time in her life, Sarah could not sing.
The minister waited for a moment hoping that she would gain her composure.
Suddenly, from within the choir, almost hidden from view because of her size, a young child emerged. No more than 6 years old, an almost mirror image of Sarah when she first joined the choir, this innocent, blonde haired beauty walked up to Sarah tugging on her skirt to get her attention.
"Sarah...Sarah!" she said.
Finally responding, Sarah turned and looked down.
"Sarah, sing sweetly!" she said and returned to her position in the choir.
If I were a betting man, I'd bet that all the angels in heaven stopped that morning to listen. For the song that Sarah sang for Grandma was heavenly, indeed.
To find the strength to face the present, we sometimes need to face the past.
"Sarah, sing sweetly!" She did. Grandma would be proud.
Dear Lord we pray that the things that we do would be encouraging to those around us. We pray that in all things we would bring honor to You through the way we help those around us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.