Instead of posting about shoes, or fortune cookies, or my lovely co-workers today, I want to write about something a little bit different. Right now, the choir that I sang in when I was in college is currently in Korea on a two-week tour. God is using them in incredible ways to bring hope and comfort. Last night, they had the opportunity to sing for the families who are grieving their lost children and loved ones in the ferry sinking.
Dr. Shawna Stewart, the Biola Chorale director, described the experience on their tour blog: “It’s hard to put into words our experience last night at Jindo. We are humbled to have been invited into their grief. It sounds like much good has come from it even in the smallest of things like the expression of our emotion through tears. We concluded by singing Amazing Grace with the families, us in English, the families in Korean. Soli Deo gloria.”
During my time in college, we did not have quite the same ministry opportunities. Our choir tours consisted of trips to central California, Arizona, and New York. They tended to be more recruitment-oriented than anything else. They were fun in their own way, but I am truly awed and inspired by what the Chorale is doing this year. This trip is what the Biola Conservatory is about. It is what makes our Conservatory unique. We strive to be excellent musicians, but there is a greater purpose to our endeavors than just delivering an exceptional performance. Our purpose is to minister hope, healing, connection, and comfort – to communicate truth and light in the midst of darkness. This is why we do what we do – so that God can use our music for his glory.
After I graduated, I found that I had a strange double-standard when it came to supporting the Chorale. This group represented the community that was such an integral part of my college experience. I missed that community. I was jealous of – dare I say, even threatened by – these new choir members, this new era of Chorale, because I wished that I could be a part of it. It sounds childish to admit, but there it is. Oftentimes, my jealousy kept me from appreciating the good things that the Chorale was doing. Because I could not stay in the choir forever, I started resenting it.
But this morning, as I looked at pictures of their Korea trip, and read the blog posts and the news articles, something in me was convicted and something in me melted. I suddenly saw the barrier that my jealousy had created, blinding me from supporting this group in the way that I should. I will always be an alumna of the Biola Chorale, and I am so thankful for that. I am so thankful for the amazing ways that the Chorale continues to use music to minister to those around them. Please join me in praying for the efforts of the Chorale as they continue their Korea tour.
The Biola Chorale singing at Jindo