Make It Beautiful

Make It Beautiful

Recently I sang at a wedding for a young couple in my parish, an opportunity both thrilling and terrifying!

It’s such an honor to be asked to do that. At the same time, you don’t want to be the person whose Peter Brady moment destroys anyone’s dream nuptials.

I sang a total of six pieces before the ceremony even started, and I was just certain that one of them—“When I Said I Do,” by Clint Black—would be my musical Waterloo.

Fortunately, I’ve been blessed by the friendship and guidance of Steve Mason since I was in grade school. Steve is a supremely gifted musician and teacher, and he has helped me indulge my passion (and develop some talent) for singing despite the fact I’ve never been “technically” trained.

One of his mantras to our music ensemble is, “Make it beautiful.” Essentially: Yes, the notes are important. But if you miss a few, no worries. Just make it beautiful.

So as I prepared to do battle with Mr. Black’s lovely (but verbose!) duet with his wife, I remembered that instruction. Whatever you do, just make it beautiful.

And it worked! I certainly was not flawless on that daunting second verse, but I doubt anyone in the congregation had a clue. What’s more,  I felt suddenly more confident—even inspired—and on the next piece, “When I Fall In Love,” I sang about as well, and beautifully, as I have in my life.

Please know, this isn’t me patting myself on the back. It’s just the realization that when we try to make things beautiful—when we stop focusing on all the little details and tricks and traps—good things happen.

So what if you miss a note? Whether it’s a B or a C, just make it beautiful.

Isn’t that all God asks of us, too? He knows we’re imperfect. Oh, how he knows it!

He just asks that we use our time alive in the world to make it beautiful, even if (and when) we make mistakes.

He’s always listening, yet he never minds when we get a little off-key.

So use your voice—use your life—and make a joyful noise to God.






About the Author

Jennifer Scroggins works in Marketing in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • juliebauke

    as always, you are so eloquent my friend!

    • Jennifer

      Thanks, Julie!

  • Mijo

    Thank you, Jennifer! I’ve been a Cantor singing alone when other singers have for unexpected reasons had to cancel at the last minute, and it made me very nervous. I was very disappointed one time, because I made some mistakes. It’s good to remember to just make it beautiful, warts and all.

    • Jennifer

      Absolutely! Blessings to you for sharing your talents openly and with passion!

  • Steve Mason

    Thanks, Jenny, for your kind words. You truly sang beautifully Saturday night. Friendhip like ours, which happened to develop in church, has added much depth of quality to the shared music ministry that we perform. The experience of your talent is a blessing to all those who hear you. Artistic development, like each person’s relationship to God, can last a lifetime.

    • Jennifer

      Thank you, Steve!