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Finding Joy in Singing

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photo: SueDuring one of the last interviews with the famous actress, Katharine Hepburn, she was asked what her advice would be for all those coming after her. She replied rather quickly, “Listen to the song of life!” I was so struck by her comment that I went to the kitchen and grabbed a pen and paper, and wrote it down. It’s been hanging on my mirror ever since. 

When I think of my “song of life”, so many memories come flooding back to me. Singing and song were rooted deeply in my family. Sitting next to my Grandfather in church was one of my earliest and dearest times of singing. His voice was a deep and velvety bass that sounded like liquid gold. All the family sat together and sang in four-part harmony in our Presbyterian church with aunts, uncles and cousins in the mix. (My parents and grandparents all met their future spouses in the church choir!) After church on Christmas Eve, my extended family gathered in singing Christmas carols in someone’s home, sitting anywhere you could find a spot, including the floor! What joy!

The “song of life” continued when years later, my husband and I headed to Wartburg Seminary for his education. You can hardly imagine the transcendent beauty of voices blending together in the chapel. It actually took your breath away to hear God’s word in song, rising to the ceiling. What joy!

Singing to sleepy babies, directing small and faithful church choirs, and now finding Southwood, continues my “Song of Life”—what joy!

Recently, the Mixed Choir sang a lovely anthem, In Endless Song, by Joseph Martin. It began: My life flows on in endless song … and ended with the glorious words: Since Christ is Lord of Heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing? What joy!

My life has and will continue to flow on, in endless song. The music here at Southwood is one of the main reasons we are part of this congregation. The choir is like family. Supporting one another in joys and sorrows with Christ as the center of all we do. What joy!

Christ IS Lord of Heaven and earth! How CAN we keep from singing? What joy!

—Sue Smith