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"But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
For many years, my wife was involved with a ministry which included a choir. One of the highlights of this group was a yearly concert. It was with much dedication that they met and practiced for this large choir gathering at Crystal Free Church in Crystal, Minnesota.
On the night of the concert, the large metro church was full for a praise service with choirs from many communities. The Cokato group (Judi’s group) was first to sing. Family and friends waited with anticipation.
The choir came forward to sing (Did I mention this group was made up approximately 40 developmentally disabled adults?), the lights lowered and the spotlight focused on all the smiling faces on the stage. They began to sing “I Love You Lord”; the words were not always distinguishable but they sang with vigor and passion. There were tears in their eyes and of all of us in the audience.
If the music critic from the Star Tribune had come, he would have to say the quality of the music was very low but the passion was off the charts. Yes, they sang the best they could; no one else could have had purer motives. They just loved to sing praises to their Lord no matter how discordant or disjointed. Man may not have been impressed because man looks at the surface things. But God was impressed; He looks at the heart and it was a sweet, sweet sound in His ear.
Many times I have visited churches and heard special music that is of excellent quality. It is amazing how God has gifted so many people. Yet I wonder if our “high standards of quality” have left us somewhat barren. We have not embraced the full spectrum of man’s praise to our Savior. But for one night I sat transfixed and blessed; quality--no; passion--unlimited. Praise to our Lord never sounded so good and it was truly a sweet, sweet sound in His ears.