I sang for a funeral recently.  I’m not the best singer you’ll hear.  I don’t say this to garner compliments or with false modesty.  I’m decent enough but I know there are others who can do it much better.

My voice is somewhat rusty.  I had much more practice in my younger years when little ones didn’t keep me occupied in the pew with fruit snacks and bathroom trips after the children’s message and before the benediction.

Still, I usually say “yes” to the request to sing for a funeral because I want to honor the desires of family members and I consider it a privilege when asked.

Listening to the organ notes during the pre-service music, as my heart beat a little faster with nervousness, common anxious thoughts began.  “Will I be able to sing well enough?  Will I come in on time?  Will I trip over a cord on the way to the microphone?”

(These fears are not unworthy of consideration.  I am still haunted by memories of knocking my crutches into the microphone during 8th grade graduation, when I had sprained my ankle only the day before.)

Saying a short prayer, I remind myself of two calming thoughts that help me during these moments.  The first was spoken to me at a teen traveling team the summer of my Junior year of high school when we would perform at churches every night of our week long schedule:

“If you’re going to mess up, at least mess up for the Lord.”

mess  up for the Lord

And second, what I tell myself each time I welcome friends and guests into my home for a visit of any type.  My home is far from perfect.  Seven real people live in my house.  It’s a very nice house, but we actually do life in this house.  With.seven.people.  Five of these precious people are children who are still learning the rules of being a real live person.  One is a boy just out of potty training and his aim is not great.  (I would suggest checking the toilet seat before sitting down, should you come to my house for a visit any time in the near future.)  Here is what I tell myself:

“I offer what I have.”

My house, my time, my friendship, is a gift to you.  I offer what I have and I’m willing to share it.  The walls need repainting, the backyard landscaping is a mess, and the state of the bathrooms is often disgraceful.  And yet…there is love here for you, laughter, a sense of family, a cold drink and hopefully something sweet to eat (if the kids didn’t finish it when I wasn’t looking).  What I have, I offer.

You, dear reader, have amazing gifts to offer the world.  What are you holding back from sharing because you feel you aren’t the best, it’s not shiny new, or others will see the flaws? God is calling you to use your gifts to His honor and glory.  It will be our privilege to join with you in honoring your gifts.