5.30.2013

For a Thousand Tongues

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We had some of Amy's family members over for a barbecue on Memorial Day. When everyone had left, Amy looked at me and said, "You look like you had a good time." And I did.  Which is not surprising, because I enjoy Amy's family, and who doesn't like a barbecue on a glorious holiday weekend? 

But it occurred to me after Amy's statement that I was particularly happy, and that I was particularly happy because I was able to share three things with Amy's family.  First, Jada and I bought fancy donuts from Federal Donuts downtown, and they were a big hit.  Second, I told my brother-in-law about a new running route I recently discovered, and he tried it (he likes to bring his running gear when he visits) and loved it.  Third, we got everyone to play Life, the board game, which Jada and I have been digging of late.

Even for extreme introverts like me, there is a pleasure in sharing things that make you happy with others, and taking delight when those shared things make others happy.  It is as if the enjoyment of something isn't quite complete until we share it with someone else, and until they experience the same enjoyment we have experienced.

It reminds me of something shared with me by a woman who was a spiritual mentor to me in college.  She mentioned the old hymn, "For a Thousand Tongues to Sing," and said she used to have the image of a mouth with a thousand tongues singing praise to God, but eventually realized that when the songwriter was referring to was the delight in having others join in singing praise to God. 

Just like my point above: it is wonderful to sing praise to God, but even better to do so with others.  It is not because we necessarily enjoy the social interaction, although obviously socializing is enjoyable for many people.  But even for people for whom socializing isn't enjoyable or energizing, sharing a joy with others and having them enjoy the same thing is a delightful thing. 

Fancy donuts and running routes and board games are great things to share with others.  And so is a wonderful God.  Would that we complete our joy by sharing it.


Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer's praise
The glories of my God and King
The triumphs of His grace

My gracious Master and my God
Assist me to proclaim
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy name

Jesus, the name that charms our fears
That bids our sorrows cease
'Tis music in the sinner's ears
'Tis life and health and peace

He breaks the power of canceled sin
He sets the prisoners free
His blood can make the foulest clean
His blood availed for me

He speaks and listening to His voice
New life the dead receive
The mournful broken hearts rejoice
The humble poor believe
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