Last night the youth choir at our church gave a concert. The theme was the history of Contemporary Christian Music, a genre rather low on my list of music that I can stomach appreciate. But with increasing familiarity—and (I cannot say this too often) the fact that I'm now in a church where we sing it at a volume that does not cause me to think more about the pain in my ears than anything else—I'm beginning to like more than a few of these songs. Besides, these are our kids, and deserve support. I'm continually amazed not only at how good their voices are, but at how many of them have the guts to stand up and sing solos. Our music director is amazing—the more I see, the less I can buy his argument that he just has great kids to work with.
Be that as it may, I can't say I enjoyed the selection of songs, even though a number were familiar, some from a long way back. A couple hit home, however. Blessed Be Your Name always does. And then there was Heaven Is in My Heart. My immediate reaction was that I'd never heard of it. Then again, it sounded so familiar. Just not quite right. Finally, it hit me: Der Himmel Erfüllt Mein Herz. I had sung it not much more than a month ago, but as far as I was concerned it was a German praise song. I had no idea there was an English version. My mind knows how interconnected the world now is; my heart does, too, since we have intimate connections across the ocean. But my gut is having trouble catching up, apparently: running unexpectedly into something from another part of my world always astonishes me.
It's funny how the language challenge adds a complexity that makes praise songs far more interesting, at least when you're singing them.