I sang in church all the time as a boy. I was this straight-laced kid who could sing like an angel. The choir loft seemed very near the sky.
Singing enveloped me. There was no sense of performance or judgment. I didn’t wonder how to sing beautifully. I just sang, and each time I opened my mouth I believed I would hear the same sound I had heard before.
These days I pray for the beautiful sound every night before I step on stage to play my songs:
“God, help me find that place as a singer when you believe you’re visited by the Holy Spirit and it passes through you. Amen.”
In all other ways, singing remains this 10-year-old’s experience for me; it never ages. I have more experience of life. I’ve known the stages of grieving a breakup. Life changes, but singing is a constant.
To be onstage and draw a breath and hope a beautiful sound will emerge, and to hope everybody listening will hold you with their love and attention, is still an act of faith.