Power, Your Name is Exuberance, Optimisim, Gratitude

As I watched my daughter prepare to sing in worship at Grace Church in lower Manhattan on Sunday morning, I thought of her first choir director at the local United Methodist Church, Elaine Keith. This woman includes in the Cherub Choir any child who shows up on a given Sunday and sticks on a gown. Confident something good and joyful will come out of their mouths if they simply try, she is likewise sure the gift will be perfect because it will come from loving hearts. Whether or not the product is technically correct is immaterial.

In this way, Elaine teaches the core value of a Christian church to the little kids: show up and be loved for who you are, and gifts will flow like water to and from your soul. Adella's first choir director taught her to give with confidence. This woman's exuberance, enthusiasm, optimism, and gratitude for the kids and their little voices generated tremendous spiritual power, a source of energy for their hearts, minds, and bodies.

Now that Adella is older, she is ready to hone her gift to sing beautifully and accurately under the careful direction of Maria Coffin at St. John's Church in Waterbury, Connecticut. Maria director moves her and her peers from strength to strength during their twice-weekly practices. When they sing together, they combine their strengths to create very beautiful music. The kids are at different levels of musical knowledge and ability; they know this and they know how to complement--complete--each other to the glory of God.

These early experiences of acceptance and encouragement and gratitude have helped my daughter grow strong emotional and spiritual as well as intellectual roots. Last week, she wrote several poems and stories for her beloved third grade teacher. I was blessed with the privilege of typing the stories, which are on her blog. The poems I have not seen. These she wrote, rewrote, transcribed in her best penmanship, proofread, and bound on her own.

I was allowed to help wrap these precious gifts, and I felt honored to be this small part of this great act of love. Adella did her best for someone she loves and respects, and she stood on her own two feet when she gave it all away with a full heart. Her gift is perfect, having, as it does, the love of God, at its very center.


  1. Anonymous4:10 AM

    How special, you must feel so proud of your daughter.


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