Singing Your Song

I am grateful for the people in my life who have been singing to me lately. They are reminding me of who I am. And quite honestly, I’ve been struggling with that a bit. I have needed singers in my life, and God has provided them for me. Let me explain:

The other day, I heard a story about a song. A story about identity. It is supposed to be true, but I can’t verify it. Either way, it’s got a great message. Here’s how it goes:

There is an African tribe where pregnant women go out into the wilderness with their friends to “hear the song of the child.” After hearing the song, they return and teach it to the tribe. When the baby is born, the whole tribe gathers to chant the song. As the child grows, he/she hears the whole tribe singing their song many times: when they start school, when they pass into adulthood, and when they get married. When they die, the tribe gathers around the death bed to sing them into eternity. Another time that the song is sung is when/if the child commits a crime or horrible act. The tribe calls them into the center of a circle and then sings their song to them – reminding them of who they are. It’s not sung with judgment, but with love and concern for the child who has forgotten who he is.

Alan Cohen (who I believe authored the original story) writes, “A friend is someone who knows your song and sings it to you when you have forgotten it. Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.”

I love the idea of reminding each other of our identity during those precious times of transition in our lives. And also when we have done something wrong, but I think there’s a crucial element missing in this story – Jesus. As a Christian, my identity is in Him, and Him alone. When I need to be reminded of my beauty, my wholeness, my innocence, and my purpose, I need to be reminded of Jesus. For I am only beautiful, whole, innocent, and given purpose as I find myself in Him. The “friend who knows my song and sings it to me” is Jesus. He knows me better than anyone and can remind me by speaking/singing through the voices of my brothers/sisters in Christ.

And for me, that’s exactly what He is doing in my life right now. I’m down and so He is using all my friends to remind me of who I am. My friends are singing to me and I am grateful to both them (the singers) and Jesus who is the one behind the song.

Other Stuff:

By the way, here’s a short list of what I know about my identity in Him: Who I Am in Christ

And here’s a song I wrote for my kids: Fade Away Lullabye

P.S. – If you’re interested in the original story I read, you can find it here:

5 Replies to “Singing Your Song”

  1. I like the song that is ringing in my ears about you. It says that you are a man of immense worth, regardless of dreams that should have come true by now.

    You are an ace in my book. I can’t imagine someone not jumping at you to be on their faculty. It just hasn’t happened yet. God must have something really great in store for you. Apparently teaching you some lessons along the way.

    The song ends with “I love you”, but that doesn’t compare with the love of God and His is loving you even when it seems like you are alone!

    What a song!!!

  2. Praying for your job situation. I know i don’t really know you well, but email me if you or your family need anything. It’s always nice to have friends nearby.

    1. Thanks Ryan. I appreciate all the prayers. You’re right. Being a part of the body of Christ is truly a blessing during times like these.

      Hey man. We visited your church Sunday and you didn’t show up.

      1. Yeah, I’m really sorry I missed you. I had a sick wife and a “possibly but not sure” sick baby (she turned out to be fine).

        My in-laws, the pastor, and a few other people told me you had come though. I definitely would have loved to have been there.

        Do you think you will come again? I’d definitely like to meet yourself and your family.

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