Thursday, March 1, 2012
One of my favorite vocalists is a local gal. She is a jazz singer and she can make songs like “Smile” or “A Wonderful World” come to life through her voice. What makes her so special? She is legally deaf. Mandy Harvey was a vocal major at a local college and then began losing her hearing. Eventually, she had to drop from the program to pursue other career options.
Her faith, perfect pitch, and support from her family and friends led her back to music and she is now a featured artist at a local jazz club. Mandy found an opportunity to take something unimaginable to a vocalist and fill the lives of many through her music. Her first album, “Smile,” is bright and cheery. You can’t help but smile! If you are looking for some good jazz, you can learn more about Mandy’s music and life at www.mandyharveymusic.com.
Sometimes I feel like the lyrics to the song, “Smile.” “Smile, though your heart is aching. Smile, even though it's breaking. When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by...”[i] Turmoil, sadness, depression on the inside, but I must put on a good face. I must keep smiling so the world doesn’t see my pain. I will get by.
I wrote a novel and submitted it to a publisher late last year. Two days ago, I received my first rejection letter. My heart was sad, but yesterday morning I went to Women's Bible Study and smiled. No one ever knew that I was hurting. Why do we do that? Why do we feel like we can’t let the world see our pain? I'm thinking we are too proud or we want to show how independent we are. I believe we need an attitude adjustment.
There are plenty of verses in the Bible that tell us that we need to keep our minds set on the right things. Like, Ephesians 4:20-24. “…be made new in the attitude of your minds…” Or “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Romans 12:2) And even, Colossians 3:2 tells us to “set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
But how are we to share that pain with others and why should I? Again, the Bible gives us the answer. We must share our burdens with others. Galatians 6:2 tells us that we are to “Carry each other’s burdens…” We also must learn to listen. Listen when others share their burdens.
Then we are to encourage those who are hurting. “…encourage the oppressed…” (Isaiah 1:17) “Encourage one another daily.” (Hebrews 3:13) “…let us encourage one another…” (Hebrews 10:25)
Above all, ask God to lighten the load. “He cares for those who trust him…” (Nahum 1:7) And 1 Peter 5:7 gives us more encouraging words. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Ultimately, it is God who will bring peace to our lives and renew the spirit within. “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within in.” (Psalm 51:10)
Another portion of the song “Smile” says, “Smile and maybe tomorrow you'll find that life is still worthwhile if you just smile...” Yes, life is worthwhile. This is Paul’s prayer for the people of Colosse. May you be encouraged by his words.
“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” (Colossians 1:10-12)
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,