The Purest Voice

Worship this morning was kickin’.

It generally is. The Worship Arts team at our church consists of some terrifically gifted and outstanding musicians. It is a blessing and a privilege, to be sure. And most importantly, while excellence is a priority, it is never moreso than remembering Who we worship, rather than the music itself.

I am regularly moved on Sunday mornings as we are ushered into the presence of God through music, praise and worship. There is a sweet communion of song and voice as we corporately lift up our hearts to the Father and give Him His rightful place.

All of that is HUGE, but of particular consequence is a the precious voice of a little girl who leads worship without even knowing it. Every week.

Debra has Downs Syndrome, always sits on the front row alone and loves to sing. Her precious voice, though off key and sometimes a beat behind, literally rises up like a sweet offering to her Lord. From her very lips, God has indeed ordained His praise.

Psalm 8:2

From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise

Y’all, when that winsome sound falls on my ears, I am humbled. I am humbled by its purity. I am humbled by her countenance and her heart for her Jesus.

And, I am humbled by my own ugly pride. (embarrassed sigh)

I would willingly trade my own for such a voice. I would quickly exchange a voice that is decent (on a good day), but not always pure for one like Debra’s that is innocent and unskilled.

Because guess which is better, sweeter, more acceptable, received? The one ordained for His glory.

I swear that each time I hear it, I have to get a grip on myself. It is the most tender, pure voice I know in that place. Her utterance grounds me, reminds me why we have come, and admonishes me to repent of my sin and praise my Jesus with a pure heart of my own.

Psalm 51:15-17

15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.

16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Debra’s not on the vocal team. But she leads. Oh, does that girl ever lead.

Because every week, she faithfully, yet unknowingly models a contrite heart in that place that draws others to Her Savior.  Including myself.

Come, Lord Jesus, inhabit the praise of your people.

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8 Responses to “The Purest Voice”

  1. 1 Headless Mom April 28, 2008 at 12:26 am

    Beautiful. A message that we all need to hear from time to time. It is often the example of my children that I need to follow-for their heart for God.

  2. 2 Kimmie April 28, 2008 at 12:29 am


    This make me take a deep breath and sigh.

    How true that in trying to worship God we somehow get lost and end up elevating self.

    I am guilty too often.

    I don’t have the voice of a worship leader, I sing with simple tune, trying to stay focused on Jesus, BUT my mind wanders, my eyes roam the room, distraction keeps me from true worship.

    Oh Lord, forgive me and help me to worship you in Spirit and in Truth. Thank you for Debra, bless her and keep her Lord, focused on You. Let her life shine before men that they may give you the glory.

    Nice to meet you sister!

    mama to 6
    one homemade and 5 adopted

  3. 3 that girl April 28, 2008 at 3:09 am

    this post makes me sooo jealous. Hubby and I have been church-searching ever since we moved to this town, and we’ve sampled many, but haven’t found what you have. And I *can* sing, which is one of the requirements — a good music team — for me. Now that the kids are getting older it’s becoming more and more important to settle in somewhere… I will make that my goal.

  4. 4 Jackie April 28, 2008 at 4:06 am

    This post is forcing me to de-lurk. :) You expressed this so beautifully, and painted the perfect picture of what worship is all about. Your blog is fantastic, and always makes me laugh. I was reading when you had your previous blog….then you moved and I had no idea where you went…fortunately I found you again via WFMW,and this is one of my first bloggy stops of the day. So…thanks!

  5. 5 Leslie April 28, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Oh so true. I have a good friend that’s a special needs teacher and she has told me that a wonderful thing about those with special needs is that they are not ashamed to express their love of Jesus publicly. I never thought of it that way before. God truly has a special purpose for each and every person.

  6. 6 Culpepper April 28, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    This is my first post. I have been lerking for a while. Hello.

    The post from today was lovely. My husband and I have been blessed with our own Debra (a.k.a. Alison) and often times when she begins to sing on Sunday mornings I notice people around her (including me and my husband) tearing up. Her pure heart and out of tune singing are overwhelmingly beautiful. God is indeed good.

  7. 7 We are THAT family April 28, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Yes, this was a beautiful and touching post! We have a young man with cerebral palsy who sits on the front row of our church and worships in such an expressive, innocent manner, that most Sundays, I am simply overwhelmed. His awkward, large worship is a fragrant offering to God and a needed reminder to the rest of us: It doesn’t matter what we look like or how well we do it, God inhabits the praise of his people.

  8. 8 Queen B April 28, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    That is a lovely post!

    How often I get distracted by all the irrelevant stuff during worship. I get distracted by the lights, the sound, the praise team…

    All God requires is that we make a joyful noise. UNTO HIM.

    Thank you.

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