It was a bit outside my comfort zone to sing “Never Would Have Made it.” At least when I tried to sing it like Marvin Sapp. After all, I am still a white chick. But I’d asked the men at the Rescue Mission of Cape Fear, if they had any song requests for next time David and I led Wednesday night chapel, and one of them took me up on it and asked for the song.
So for the next couple weeks, I studied Pastor Marvin Sapp singing on You Tube with his powerful gospel energy. I attempted feebly to play some guitar chords to go with it. My limited ability to strum a few basic chords was not up for the jazzy gospel notes I heard on You Tube’s guitar versions. It just wasn’t working for me. But I liked the song itself. It moved me in a good way, because the words rang true. I never would’ve made it throught the darkness without God’s son carrying me, sometimes dragging me kicking and screaming.
So I decided to sing the song a cappella after the scripture discussion Wednesday night about Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. As I started to sing, I felt myself being pulled into the song. Sometimes when this happens, I forget my place, especially when I’m playing guitar too. But this time, it flowed just fine. I snapped my fingers gently on one hand like I’d rehearsed it. My other hand moved to my heart, as I sang in my own simple white-hippie-church lady way. My body swayed back and forth of it’s own accord.
The men of the mission have always been polite and patient with my choice of songs. As usual, they humbled me with their enthusiastic applause. The man who had requested the song gave me a warm broad smile and thanked me for singing it. I think they appreciate my effort as much as anything else. They knew I was singing from my heart.
I realized that I’m showing them how it’s ok to try something new, in a safe place, even if it’s outside your comfort zone, even if it might not be as good or the same as how somebody else would do it. I have come to feel safe enough to stretch myself in the company of this diverse group of men who have come to the Rescue Mission seeking shelter. And I have been blessed with new songs to sing.
To learn more about the Rescue Mission of the Cape Fear, and the men who stay there, see my interviews in Wilmington Faith and Values: