I witnessed a beautiful moment while loading up my groceries into the car. A woman, her mother, her daughter, I'm guessing around the age of 6, an older woman, maybe her grandmother (80 years +) loaded their groceries into the car, got inside, rolled down the windows and enjoyed ice cream sandwiches while they laughed and just chose to be present in that moment. There were no rules, no timelines, just those four choosing each other and being silly in the Walmart parking lot. It was a beautiful sight to behold. Their joy made me smile and their presence made me pause. I don't want to be soo busy that I forget to be present, playful and pure. I love how God blesses and teaches me as the same time.
I have sang for a handful of people and for thousands. No matter what the occasion or the crowd size, my Mother, Etta Nelson was the one who believed in my ability more than I. Music is my safe place. When I open my mouth I feel like I am transported to this space where God kisses my soul. He works through me, using music and my voice as a healer to the broken and the a restorer to the weary. Music is a bridge that connects our hearts together with no filters or prejudice.
From weddings, baby dedications and funerals to prison cells, sporting events anworship during church services and celebrations, I've done it.
Six years ago today, the photo that you see above was taken. My Mom and I were attending a Mother's Day Luncheon that was being hosted by a group of lady's from Sunrise Missionary Baptist Church. It was a beautiful time of sharing. This photo was taken as we had arrived and grabbing our seats. The event was at the Northwest Community Center and I remember it like was yesterday. Being from a small community where everyone knows everyone else, it was not uncommon to be put on the "program" impromptu.
One of the organizers asked me if I could share a few words about my mother. This should come easily, however public speaking is a HUGE fear of mine, so I opted to sing a few lyrics of "You Are So Beautiful" to my Mom. I started singing acapella until something that I had never experienced happened to me....I couldn't sing. When I connected the lyrics of what I singing while looking directly at my Mother, my heart exploded mid-song and I choked. I was soo captivated by the realization and acknowledgement of her sacrifice for me that all I could do is weep.
I have sang many times where others were moved to tears, I have sang where I was so connected to the Holy Spirit that I felt physically weak when I finished a worship service. I have sang at the funerals where I could vividly see the tears of loved ones streaming down their faces. I have sang where I heard the roar of thousands of people applauding and clapping. BUT..I had NEVER sung a song directly to my Mother before. I have always adored my Mother, but this day I really realized how much I did. I realized how much God loved me because he gave me such a phenomenal woman to emulate. I understood in that moment, how much time I had wasted taking her love, wisdom and knowledge for granted. But in that same moment, I made a decision that I would not go another day without loving her not just with my words and deeds, but with my TIME.
I am blessed that my Mother is still here with me and I treasure the time that we do get to spend. And although I may not be able to render a perfect song to her, I hope she knows that she truly is the music of my heart.