I am training to be a cantor at our church, and tomorrow morning I am singing the Responsorial Psalm for the first time. Over several days, I memorized the verses and the response and, as of last night, was feeling ready, but still nervous. In an effort to calm my nerves, I grabbed my bible as I went to bed and began to pray.
During my practice, I had not noticed which number Psalm I was singing, or what the greater context of the verses was. So, as part of my prayer, I asked to God to show me the Psalm I would be singing so I could read it in the context of the scripture and truly know that this was something he wanted me to do. I opened the bible to a random page and took a peek.
The first page I opened was Proverbs. I knew Psalms were a little bit back, so I pinched what I thought was about the right amount of pages to get me to Psalms. There are 150 Psalms, so I knew that even once I got to the right Book it would take me a bit of paging around to find what I was looking for, especially since I didn't know the actual number. But I was willing to put in some time to find it (and I was too lazy to get out of bed to find my songbook and check the number), so I flipped my chunk of pages and stared at the center of the right hand page for a start.
At first I could not believe it when the first thing my eyes fell upon was the response to tomorrow's Psalm: "Lord, let us see your kindness and grant us your salvation". The words in my bible were slightly different due to its translation, but there was no doubt. The verses followed, one after the other, so familiar. The text was in the middle of a page, in the middle of Psalm 85. There was no physical reason for my eyes to have been drawn there, or for me to have choosen that page, for that matter. None at all.
A chill (the good kind) ran through me and I suddenly felt God's presence all around me. I was immediately peaceful and knew without a doubt that he did want me to cantor and that it was going to be fine. His grace is always sufficient for whatever task is at hand.
This morning I woke up with that same peace and it has remained all day. I am not nervous about tomorrow--believing God himself asked me to do this makes it easy. It is not often that God, a God of silence, speaks so clearly to us. I am so glad that he chose this time to speak to me. My faith is affirmed and I am ready to sing.