Knowing I’d be in the car quite a bit during our family spring break trip, our amazing VBS leader Emily Easley made sure I’d have the CD full of songs for this year’s Vacation Bible School (via a personal delivery to the windshield of my car, she rocks!). I am excited to get to help lead the children in song to provide an active and exciting opening and closing each day. Somehow for me, the songs we sing at church are the most effective way for the depths of the Christian message to truly sink in. Maybe it’s the repetition of the chorus, maybe the actual vocalizing the words, maybe the emotion of harmony – whatever it is, truth comes to me through music. Have you noticed you can sing lyrics to songs you heard only a few times, or decades ago? Music has staying power, and can preserve foundational principles to guide us. This really struck me as I began to listen, practice and learn the songs for our darling children this year. Children love music, and rarely perceive it to be, shall we say it, preachy (no offense Pastor J & C). But through music, we can equip them with a soundtrack for their lives – key phrases that may subconsciously come to them in those critical moments of decision-making or heartbreak as they face the challenges of growing up. One song from this year’s set, in particular, affected me with its message:
I try so hard to do things right,
But I make the wrong choice sometimes,
And you forgive me.
First, it hit me as a parent, these are absolutely the things I tell my children. We talk about bad choices, and about how the right thing might be the hard thing. Isn’t it the last though, that they struggle with the most? Through tear-blurred eyes, they seem to worry, does mommy still love me after I make a mistake? How much I try to tell them, of course, of course I will always love you, love you to your very core. You are mine, my child forever, no matter the transgression. How wonderful, I thought, for kids to hear this message of forgiveness, of foreverness from a loving God!
But second, it hit me as a child, a child of God. Don’t I wonder the same things? After I’ve lost patience, been irresponsible, said something I wish I hadn’t? It’s one of those moments that teachers always seem to have; I learn because I teach. I need these messages too, still, the same ones designed for elementary kids, I still need to hear them. Don’t you? Of course, of course God still loves me, to my very core. I am his, his child, forever. And so are you.
No one knows me, God like you.
You see who I am, not what I do,
And you forgive me.