This week has been a little on the crazy side. The church that I work for has been hosting a children’s choir from Africa. That translates to an extra 22 children (ages 5-11) and 9 adults in the building. There has been a buzz in the hallways, angels singing from the Sunday School wing, running, laughing, soccer being played in the front yard. There is energy in the building. These children hug everyone they meet. They call me auntie. They are obedient and silly. They are just lovely.
I watched them for a while during their dress rehearsal. The beat of the drums and the energy was enchanting. They had moooooves! The six year old could move her hips better than this mama of four!
This afternoon, someone asked me more about the choir … so I pulled up asantechoir.org and started reading. Every single one of these children is an orphan. They have no parents, no family – no one. Yet I had no idea by spending the past few days with them. Not one of them looked sad or lonely. They just love Jesus. They have innocence in their eyes. Reading their story moved something within me. It made me realize that their happiness wasn’t because of their innocence … it was because of the love of Christ. The love from other Christ followers that have given them hope again. They felt rescued and loved.
Puts things into perspective. When I don’t like the food I have in my refrigerator. They are just happy to have food on a plate. I’m irritated because it was too hot to sleep well the night before. They are thankful to have a bed to sleep in. I struggle to find enough time to fit in both family and friends. They have no one but each other. Incredible how quickly you can be knocked into a new perspective.
When I watched them again, tears just rolled. Watching each of their smiles. Watching their beautiful costumes and their vibrant colors under the lights. Then picturing them in their home towns … living on the streets, torn clothing, bare boned, no parents, no job … nothing. Yet they were jumping and clapping and signing about God’s love. You can’t manufacture those kinds of things.
The concert ended with a young boy, about 7, belting out “I’m Trading My Sorrows.” The choir jumping, clapping, arms flying and faces smiling behind him. Those smiles. Those loving eyes have seen such great despair. Those tummies have felt such extreme hunger. And here they are living care free.
I don’t think that they were so lighthearted because they were rescued. See, when I pictured them in the streets of their hometown, I still see those same eyes. I see the same Jesus-loving hearts. They are lighthearted because they follow a good God. They sing about an all loving, all powerful God. He’s the skip in their walk and the twinkle in their eyes.
Such beauty in such young people.
I’m so incredibly thankful that God brought the Asante choir to our middle to upper class, mainly Caucasian congregation. I’m blessed to have been moved by the beat of the drums to have danced to the songs of angels. I’m telling you … they are angels walking on earth. It’s all perspective. And it’s all about the big guy upstairs.