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how great thou art

There are songs that make me want to cry and then there are songs that make me cry.

Yesterday I attended a prayer summit for area pastors.  About 70-100 of us gathered at BridgeWay Church in Denver from a variety of church backgrounds and environments.  The morning began with worship.  That’s when God got me (again).

The worship leader began playing “How Great Thou Art.”

It’s not the fact that I grew up singing this hymn that makes me emotional.  I grew up singing lots of hymns, many of which I hope to never sing again.  The reason is simple: “How Great Thou Art” was my mom’s favorite hymn.

On the other hand, the reason is anything but simple.  When I sing “How Great Thou Art” I’m not just singing words — I’m remembering.  The melody alone is enough to make me think of mom.  I can almost hear her voice.  I can envision the way she stood when she sang.  In my mind, I see the pews and I can feel the hymnals.  All the collective memories come flooding back.

Music has that kind of power.  It has the power to create and recreate.  It has the power to embed in our brains bits and pieces of a larger story and then bring them back at will.

I’m thankful for the men and women who have crafted songs.  I’m thankful that God is still inspiring men and women to put pen-to-paper and create placeholders for life.

What’s your song?