Sing Off-Key With Me

“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving” Psalm 69:30.

I have a funny habit of singing the Doxology, but replacing the word “blessings” with “coffee.” It started as a sincere prayer one too-early morning in the college dining hall, albeit with the added hope of getting a giggle out of my roommate. It has, in the years since, become almost second nature. It’s a favorite hymn, and a sentiment that I find centering.

I’ve got a few friends who will indulge me by helping find ways to fill in rhymes for whatever we’re thankful for in the moment: burritos, parking, groggy roommates who wake up to rescue you when you get home late at night to a locked house and realize that you’ve forgotten your keys. I often get rueful smiles or eye rolls when I parody these little things into hymns of thankfulness.

But sometimes, stopping long enough to laugh over an off-key tune is what it takes to slow down and truly be thankful; for the parking spot that lets me get to a graduation party in time to celebrate, for the food I’m about to eat after the long walk with friends that worked up my appetite, or for the late night of dancing at a wedding reception that makes me tired enough to appreciate terrible airplane coffee just a few hours later. These are my daily doxologies, and I am thankful for the practice of giving thanks, even slightly out of key.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Praise him, all creatures here below;

Praise him above, ye heavenly host;

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.


Sarah Witmer