The Sunday group sits circular on hard wooden chairs and sings to a guitar.
We’re singing “Lord Most High” when the string breaks and the guitar goes sour and the music, it stops.
“Let me just get this string out of the way,” he mutters. “And I’ll need to tune it real quick.”
We sit circular and wait.
“Oh wow, it sounds terrible without that string,” he sheepishly apologizes. “Well, let’s just sing to the Lord.” We start singing again. Without the string.
We sing of El Shaddai, the All Sufficient One, to the sound of a guitar with a broken string.
And somewhere in the deep, empty chambers, something reverberates and mends in the broken.
The music, it’s beautiful.
The broken string dangles long on the floor and the guitar’s weakness is exposed and the music, why it’s even more beautiful coming from that which is broken. Broken yet willing to make much of the Name anyway.
And I know something sitting there singing El Shaddai with a broken string and a messy life. I know it sure, the way to live a life: no pretenses, certainly no perfection, just living willing in the brokenness.
When a heart twangs, when you’ve stood up and snapped in front of the whole wide world it seems, when you’ve been exposed for the terrible sound that you sometimes are… well, the music can stop.
Lives can be packed away, put up on the “safe” shelf. We can become relics instead of music makers. We can spend a lifetime trying to fix what’s broken instead of singing anyway.
But we could keep on singing. We could tune to the Name above all names and keep on singing to Him because it was never about us to begin with. It’s always been about El Shaddai, the All Sufficient One. It’s not about being self-sufficient or self-made but about being centered on the One who carries on eagle’s wings.
It’s about El Elyon, the Most High God, the Name that holds timeless through the ages. Nations rise and fall according to the Name; yet He draws near to the broken and contrite of heart.
We could sing to that Name.
And Jesus, the Name above all Names, takes the bread of our lives and He breaks it. And we know that to make music with our broken, exposed life means we don’t live by our bread anymore but by every Word that proceeds from His mouth. And we come to terms with our brokenness. We accept it dangling long and exposed on the floor.
Because it was never about us to begin with and we are living by the Word, the Name, the very breath and Presence of God.
The breaking, it is a gift.
And we can sing.