Today I had the urge to put on the video from when my folks and I went to the Stamps Baxter School of Music back in 1998. When Marc saw the video and saw me up there conducting he made some comment about that not being the person he married. It probably was the person he married, but it’s certainly not the person I am now. My musical interests have certainly changed, but I can’t deny that southern gospel music is my musical heritage. And so tonight I have spent a good hour on YouTube randomly finding songs, (of course) remembering all of the words, and remembering so many moments.
Moments like when I sang this song (soundtrack and all) to my grade 1 class:
(I wonder if Madeline will look back on all of the times we’ve gotten her to sing Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” between the ages of 3 and 6 and wonder what her parents were thinking, just like I do! I don’t think any child should know the phrase “unmerited favour” at age 6.)
And then there was the time in 1997 when I met Vestal Goodman and told her what a good impression I do of her, especially to this song:
Also in 1997 was my first kiss (not to Marc) which occurred with not only this song, but this exact version of the song on in the background:
Beautiful, beautiful song with such an unfortunate, unfortunate memory attached to it. (I just checked with Marc to make sure he knew that particular memory of mine and wouldn’t read it for the first time on the blog.)
The other thing I reminded him of tonight (and which he says he would’ve like to have known before we married) was that when I was in high school a lot of evenings I would dress up and stand in front of the mirror and lipsync to records (actual LPs) of the Bill Gaither Trio. You have to keep in mind this was the days of Pearl Jam, Nirvana, REM, and Alanis and I was singing my heart out to this kind of stuff from circa 1982:
Now, we won’t get into my whole Gaither obsession. But there are some very good memories. I remember laying on the couch in the family room at my house and listening to this song (not this version) over and over again. It’s the first time I remember being moved to tears by the hope of Jesus. I think I was about 12 or 13. (The song starts at around 2:25.)
And one song that still moves me is this last one. Bill and Gloria wrote it. I don’t think I ever sang it with my parents at church, I think I just imagined doing it (and practiced it in front of the mirror). But the words get me.
I believe. Help thou my unbelief. I take the finite risk of trusting like a child.
I believe. Help thou my unbelief. I walk into the unknown trusting all the while.
I long so much to feel the warmth that others seem to know.
But should I never feel a thing, I claim Him even so.
I think that says it all right there — about life and death and wisdom and uncertainty and faith. And while this is no longer the kind of music I put on in the day, there was something nice and real listening to these songs tonight, thinking about where I’ve come from, and knowing those songs are still in me — each and every word — no matter how many years it’s been.