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One of the sites I visit regularly to find words of wisdom is Bible Gateway.  All you need to do is type in a search term and it pulls up quotes from the Old and New Testaments.  I typed in “power” today and found a great passage from Exodus.

And Moses besought the Lord his God, and said, Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?  Exodus 32:11

So dramatic!  Especially using the King James Version. And I realized how much dimension drama can add to our lives.  A wonderful dramatic actor, like Derek Jacobi as Hamlet, can bring a classic tale to life.  A dramatic singer, such as Andrea Bocelli can transport you to Tuscany.

In a lighter vein, chipmunks, cats, and even Justin Bieber can be dramatic.

Some of the greatest singers of our time are drama queens: Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, and Celine Dion, just to name a few.  In Christian music, there are some wonderful singers who regularly go over-the-top and beyond, including Yolanda Adams, David Phelps and Sandi Patty.

Sometimes these dramatic singers may evoke an eye-roll or two as they go well over-the-top, up into the stratosphere, as in this clip of David Phelps singing “It is Well with my Soul.” Another singer in the Gaither group, Ivan Parker, can be seen in the background as Phelps sings, waving his hands dismissively at this divo display.

And again, in this clip of Donald Lawrence & the Tri-City Singers, singing “Encourage Yourself.”  Singer Sheri Jones-Moffett has a dramatic moment at about two minutes in, and some in the audience seem to be mildly mocking her wide-eyed expressiveness. Most of them are appreciative, though, even standing as she sings.

What kind of world would it be without drama and divas? Maybe the antidote to a hum-drum life is to allow yourself to go over-the-top once in a while. 

Most of the time, we’re constrained by the corset of decorum, afraid to make waves – even in our own hair.  If you want a permanent… or a purple streak in your hair, why is this not an option? Is it because people of faith must all wear sensible shoes and hausfrau hair?  (No offense intended to housewives, or comfy shoes, for that matter!)

And what about believers who express their praise to God in church with electric guitars, loud drums, and screams of exultation?  I attended a Pentecostal church years ago, and its music was indistinguishable from rock music (just a note – I like rock music and listen to it often), but their joy was heartfelt.

Sometimes going over-the-top can be downright fascinating.  This version of “Una Voce Poco Fa” by Cecilia Bartoli is lovely, but what makes it mesmerizing is that she’s not just singing the song with her voice, but with her entire face!  

My favorite over-the-top dramatic song is Sandi Patty’s version of Dottie Rambo’s classic, “We Shall Behold Him.”  Patty sings live in front of the Gaither group, using sign language to sign the lyrics as Rambo herself looks on in approval.

Going over-the-top is really not such a bad thing after all, is it?  Give it a try sometime when the spirit moves you. It may well be that going over-the-top actually gets you halfway to heaven.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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