You will have to be of a certain generation to know who Psalty the Singing Songbook is – and if you were to just see a picture, you might find him rather scary looking. If you are wondering who Psalty is, then think an early 80’s version of Veggie Tales – songs for kids to encounter Jesus and discover faith. I think I received my first Psalty album for my first communion and I loved it. I would sit at the cassette player and listen to it over and over, singing along (in an American accent just like Psalty) and also reciting by rote all the dialogue between songs.
Think you don’t know any Psalty songs – I bet you do – even without realizing it. Perhaps one of the more well-known songs is I Love You Lord. Well, I am not sure that there is one particular Psalty song that I like best, but the fact that I am still word perfect on most of them probably tells you just how often I listened to them. I recall that whenever I would listen to Psalty, I would be filled with what I would now name as joy. And I think that although I did not realise it at the time, the words I was singing had an impact on me at a deeper level, teaching me to rely on God and to sing praises to him.
I think this is the gift of singing songs of praise to God – whether they are the kid-friendly Psalty kind of song, or something a little more modern. They change us inside at a level that we cannot always articulate by opening us to grace, providing comfort and helping to form us in what it means to praise God from the depths of our being. They give us words to speak out to God when we cannot find them for ourselves.
So right now, I encourage you to stop and spend some time in praise – have a listen to one of your favourite songs of praise. Ask God to deepen its meaning in you in a new way – and trust that whether you can articulate it or not, that it has taken place.
And when you are done, check out who Psalty is (or take a trip down memory lane if you already know.