When I was growing up, my dad and I used to sign together in church. I don't remember how we got started, although I think we discovered sign language when my mom took a class at the local deaf school. I wish I could remember the first song we ever signed to, but I remember many of the others over the years. It's such a beautiful form of expression, and it became a unique ministry for my dad and me.
I have liked the song "Breath of Heaven" since the first time I heard it. But two years ago, when I was pregnant with Nathan and due the same week as Christmas, that song took on new meaning for me. I felt more connected to Mary and the nativity story than I ever had before. I decided to learn the signs to that song, and thought about sharing it in church. I was too nervous, especially being due so close to the time, and felt it was best kept a private act of worship.
Earlier this fall, it occurred to me that I would once again be pregnant during the Christmas season. I decided to talk to my pastor and the music leader about signing this song in church, and they agreed to let me do so. Yesterday morning, I was able to accompany these beautiful words in both services. While I was signing, a screen displayed various passages about Christ and his birth. I'm so glad I decided to participate in the Advent season in this way, and hope signing this song was as meaningful for others as it was for me.
(If you're unfamiliar with the lyrics to "Breath of Heaven," you can click here to listen.)