So considering what our family (immediate and particularly extended) has been through this summer, it was no surprise that not one but two of our new songs had me in full-blown tears. To the point that I could not sing any more. I couldn't even see the notes and words to try. Because part of it is that I'm not quite "over" the death of such a dear aunt, or perhaps even the death of any one I've known. But it was mostly because the songs perfectly put into words and feelings how I would testify of the Atonement in relation to those who have died, and those who have suffered. I have no idea how I'm going to make it through this season without crying from the beauty and truth in those songs. I hope I will be able to learn to keep it in by the concert, because I am not able to sing and cry at the same time--and I really want to be able to testify with these songs to the audience. But as I prepare for that moment, I will continue to let those songs testify to me.
The first song is written by my Delaware Home Teachers' son, Ryan Murphy (assistant director for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir). He attended Sandy Hook Elementary, and wrote this song in honor and dedication to those affected by the tragedy there.
Good heavens--I'm in tears again just listening to it. Because this song makes me thing of that tragedy. Of my aunt and her two sons who preceded her. Of other suffering children in the world. Of my own children whom I have lost to time passing.
I got myself under control for the rest of practice. Until we got to the last song. Kelly read the note at the beginning, which set the tone. But I couldn't get past the second page before those words pierced my soul about the pain of my aunt this summer, and the pain of my friend Shane (who was there at practice tonight) this summer, and the pain I've had this summer, and the pain of every Child of God. Music enables my heart to express emotion and testimony that mere words cannot do for me. I am grateful for composers who are blessed with the Spirit to write music like this that can then reach my spirit and allow me to heal, find peace and comfort, and give me ability to share my testimony.