There’s more to singing a song than just making the words come out of your mouth. Sure, you can get by with that, and it might sound OK. But pretty much any song worth singing is worth feeling, and that takes more than just your voice.
I was asked to sing a tender song, “Butterfly Kisses,” at the dedication of a baby girl at church. Joining me was my brother Dan Stanfield, harmonica maestro and partner in melody.
While I was figuring out what key I could physically sing the song in, and practicing to get familiar with it, my mind kept going to my own little girls. Both Bria and Virginia Rose are now grown and married, and they are beautiful and admirable young women. But in my memories, I’m still rocking them to sleep.
I don’t know if there are any perfect fathers out there, and if there are, I am certainly not one. I was not there for many of the important moments in their lives, and we are not close. Haven’t been for a long time. Both are a thousand miles and more away, and usually we don’t communicate more than a couple of times a year.
I don’t think I would change most of the decisions I’ve made over these years, and God has certainly been faithful to work wonderful things through many of my mistakes.
But some of those mistakes weigh heavily on me, and the more I sing “Butterfly Kisses,” the more those memories swirl around me. How do I present this song without losing it? without my voice breaking? without my heart breaking?
So my prayer has been, “Father, please help me to sing this song for Raelynne, Amanda and Shawn. Help me to feel it. And please help me to survive it.”
When I remember my beloved daughters — and my beloved sons — in prayer, I’m grateful for His constant hand on their lives. And I’m sorrowful for my inconstant hand. I can keep breathing only because I know He will keep and guide my babies despite my failings, because He is the one perfect Father.
— Steve Brown