screeching for Jesus

This morning on the way to work I was going full-out concert mode with the radio. I was hitting the high notes, I was hitting the low notes, and I was hitting all the choreographed jazz hands parts. It was a performance for the ages.

You should be so happy you didn’t have to hear it.

Seriously, I have an amazingly bad voice.

For the longest time, this bothered me. I used to sing softly at church, some might even call it whisper-singing. I wanted to let loose, but the fear of people actually hearing my voice kept me quiet.

In middle school my friend Jessica told me that she actually never sang in choir and especially not at our concerts. She lip-synched everything because she hated singing. The only thing she hated more than singing was band and orchestra, hence the choir elective. I took this revelation as my saving grace and lip-synched my way through seventh and eighth grade.

You know what is absolutely terror-inducing for people with bad voices? Singing a capella. I need some guitars, a piano, and preferably three sets of drums to drown out my singing. Take away all the music and just let a bunch of people or, GOD FORBID, just a few people sing? I will take a fake bathroom break quicker than you can get to the chorus.

A sweet girl in my youth group once told me that she thought it was weird she could never hear me singing when she sat by me. I just smiled innocently, but in my head I was thinking, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Singing is not my forte. I’m not exactly sure what my forte is at this point, but I’m hoping to narrow it down soon.

Screeching for Jesus

This morning as I pulled into the school parking lot basking in the glow of my rock star performance, I go to thinking about what God hears when I sing. Does he hear the tone-deafness that he blessed me with? Does he notice that at some points in the song, I’m not actually singing but yelling? Does he cringe like those seated around me at church do sometimes?

Answer: nope.

That guy loves my voice, which makes me giggle a little to think about. He doesn’t care that I’m off by a beat and my voice keeps cracking. He doesn’t care that I don’t know the majority of the words and make up my own (BETTER) ones to most songs on the radio. He just likes that I’m singing. And he really likes it when I’m singing to him. I imagine he’s got this amazing dad-filter that can auto-tune my voice to make it sound like an angel. I bet I sound amazing to Jesus as I’m singing his praise. He’s just sitting back and delighting in my worship. Like when your kids make you pictures and they’re absolute crap but you love them because they did their best and you’re just happy that they thought of you.

That’s how God feels when we worship him.

So sing. Sing loud. Sing badly. Sing off-key. Or sing amazingly, if you can. I’m totally not jealous of you.

No matter how you sing, I won’t notice, I promise. I’m way too busy giving car concerts to pay attention to your voice, but God hears you and he loves it.

So today? Let’s sing.


  1. Jessie says

    I totally feel your love for car concerts! And the whisper singing in church… Thanks for the motivation to pump up the volume this Sunday!

  2. Liz Hamilton says

    This makes me think of my Papa so much. He is most certainly tone deaf. He has one note and it’s LOW. But he belts it out every Sunday morning because he just doesn’t hold back when it comes to praising. I know that God loves to hear it and, honestly, I do too. It may not be pretty, but there’s joy in that song and that makes it beautiful.

    • mary says

      That is interesting to hear! It *MIGHT* run in the family. 😉 😉

      And this just makes me love him more to imagine him belting out his worship with a less-than-perfect voice. Thanks for sharing that.

      • Rhonda says

        Liz is right. Before I grew up , I’m embarrassed to admit that Dad’s singing so loud embarrassed me (just as much as his talking loudly and starting conversations with random strangers, but that’s another story). Dad used to say that the reason he had no musical talent was that he gave it all to his kids. But his lack of singing ability never stopped him. And words to the song, well let’s just say he always flowed from one song to another with ease because he would be singing the words to Amazing Grace and the next line of the song might be O Come All Ye Faithful.

        • mary says

          I love these stories! My mom used to be a loud singer before she got hearing aids and then she toned it down…she probably had no idea how loud she was because her hearing was so bad. :)

  3. Laurel says

    Now that is funny! I caught myself being careful this Sunday because my friends were in front of me in church and I didn’t want to “bless” them with any wrong notes. (Yes, that was my pride motivating me.) Then, without knowing this, at the end of the service my husband turned around and thanked the lady behind us for singing so nicely in our ears. (She did have a good voice.)

    • mary says

      That is awesome that your husband turned around and said that! Nice move. :) And it’s totally a pride thing for singing softly, yep. Eh.

  4. John says

    On week I could hear a great singer behind me, since I am so territorial as to where we sit I wondered who had been sand bagging. I didn’t want to be rude and turn around so when I came back from communion I am hawking everyone in the vicinity. None other then Tom Harrigan had blessed our section with his voice. Mystery solved

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