It was strangely exciting. I mean, when you think about it, the angels didn't sing over Jesus in English. If they sang in any language of Earth, it was probably Aramaic, or possibly Greek. But to hear a carol I know and love in a foreign tongue was very unifying. We sing to the same Christ, born for all of us in a manger in Bethlehem. It brought to mind what it will be like when we all get to Heaven, and all our voices in a thousand languages will unite and intertwine to form a single grand hymn.
All that was just the warm up, though. After lunch we went out to the orphanage to play with the kids and, in my case, get my butt handed to me in Connect Four by a number of teens. We had about an hour of touring the orphanage/hugging/holding hands/learning names, then the kids had church so we went in and sat with them. They sang a capella, with the orphanage director tapping out the beat with his knuckle on the desk up front. It was very simple, very routine, and unbelievably beautiful. Not just because their voices are high and pure. It was the way they sang. They were uninhibited. They sang with all of the breath in their bodies and with a conviction that can best be described as gusto.
As lovely as their little voices are, that's not what it was about. Not for them, not for us, and not for the God who reveled in their praise. I just soaked it up, and longed for that kind of abandon in my own worship and in that of my church. How free and rich and how much more joyous would it be, if we could stop worrying about the poor parishioners who had the bad fortune to be sitting in front of us (or me, at least) as we belt it, and just glorify God?
I love that they have this. I pray they never lose it.
After church we played games and puzzles, and as I said earlier, lost soundly in Connect Four over and over again. Picching had no mercy and it was great to see him laugh every time he dropped the fourth disc in place. Sieng Hai didn't play against me, but I did get some quality hugs in. I wanted to show how fast they've grown, so here you go.
These pictures are from May 2010
|This is Picching...and me.|
|This is Sieng Hai|
This is from today!!!
|Picching, me, and Sieng Hai. They're so grown up!|
I'm thrilled that it's only Sunday and we have so much time still here with the kids. It's been great to see how quickly the new people have fallen in love and how quickly the kids have loved them too. While I'll probably never try to sing Hark, The Herald Angels' Sing in Khmer, I will always remember this time when I hear it.