So . . . I am about to go into the studio and begin recording some of my songs for our 8th album. As I look back on earlier days of our ministry and listen to my voice in its prime, I appreciate it more than I ever valued it then. I struggled with so much insecurity in myself as a human being—let alone as a singer. And now that I am older, my voice has a lot more ups and downs. In my fleshly self—in other words, ego—I wrestle with all of that, wanting it to be so different.
I see how vastly different is the Lord’s measure of me than my measure of myself
But God, who knows our humanity from the inside out, continues to show that sometimes in the weaknesses and imperfections He can speak more loudly than in my polished moments. This has been true throughout the three-plus decades of Improbable People, but even more apparent in these days. I see how vastly different is the Lord’s measure of me than my measure of myself and, unfortunately, of others at times.
God can speak in the cracks and broken places as much as He can speak in other people’s glorious sounds. And while I recognize the truth of these things I have never become quite comfortable with them. My friend Lynn Cory, founder of Neighborhood Initiative, once remarked that he would rather boast in his weaknesses, like Paul speaks about in Scripture, so that Christ’s power would be all the more upon him.
But as a singer, weakness has never been my goal.
I have needed to sound good and strong in my own ears—and all the more so when people are listening. Yet the irony is, I can never hear myself while I am singing as well as others who are listening.
While singing I am hearing all the internal working of the process. Others are hearing only what emerges.
I find it convicting that what I might throw away (there’s that word ego again), another who is listening might truly receive from the music. So then I have to ask . . . am I the best judge of what is good? And who am I serving in my singing—myself or God? These are not questions so easily answered when I have spent a lifetime believing I could hear what is best in my singing,
So . . . as I look at singing my way through a new album on studio mic, this time around I hope I can keep these things in mind. I don’t hear from the inside nearly so well as what others hear from the outside. And even in the cracks and frailties I regret in my aging instrument, God can pour out anointing and make Himself heard . . . perhaps even more so today than ever before.