An Answer to Prayer

I’m Feeling: Contemplative
I’m Listening To: Olympics on TV

God is pretty cool. My small group is currently doing a study of the book of Acts, which we’ve been in for the past few months. Our conversations have, accordingly, turned a lot to spiritual gifts. I’ve been thinking more and more about gifts lately, even re-reading a very good book called What You Do Best in the Body of Christ by Bruce L. Bugbee. I’ve been trying to clearly understand my gift(s) and how I am or am not using them effectively for the kingdom.
Many of you know that one of my major passions in life is music. I love making it, although I don’t get the chances I wish I did, between the time restraints of being a husband and father, and not being part of any group or ensemble. In fact, I really haven’t picked up my trumpet in over a year, my poor hammered dulcimer collects dust in my basement, and my accordion sits next to the dulcimer. My guitar is the only one that gets any kind of regular workout. I do get to help make music, in a way, every third Sunday when I run the sound board at church. It’s not quite the same, but I know that it’s an acceptable offering.
I’ve been praying lately that God would give me an opportunity to play with the worship team at Rooftop, but they’ve all been healthy and in town for the past few months (I’m a utility player, on trumpet and accordion, and fill in when the band is especially scant). I’ve also been hoping for a crack at playing guitar with the band, because then I can focus less on the music, more on the worship. So last Monday, I was uber-enthusiastic when I got an e-mail from the worship director to play both guitar and accordion. What an answer to prayer.
Unfortunately, after confirming with Jason that I would definitely be there Sunday, I remembered Monday night that I had to go on a retreat for first-year teachers with SLUH from Saturday to Monday. I was pretty ticked. So, I e-mailed Jason back, hat in hand, and let him know that I had to back out.
I went on retreat, and when I was packing, I thought really hard about whether to bring my guitar. Ultimately, I decided not to, because there wasn’t going to be a ton of free time. So, I got there, and was completely okay with not being able to play Sunday morning. Here’s where God went to work. Saturday night, a teacher from one of the other schools asked the group if anyone could play piano or guitar for her school, since they were in charge of one of the services, and their musician apparently couldn’t make it on the weekend. Surprisingly, out of 75 people there, no one there played piano.
So, I raised my hand, and after some confusion as to what music I’d actually be playing, I ran home at like 10:45 that night (I got back to the retreat center at 12:30) and got my guitar. The music was pretty unfamiliar, as it was a Catholic liturgy, which I’ve not attended in several years, and for which I have never played music. But it went great. I had a good time, and in all of my days growing up in the Catholic church, I’d have to say it was the most worshipful experience I’ve ever had in a Mass.
A prime close-a-door-open-a-window moment. Sometimes I like being near-sighted. So I say again: God is pretty cool.

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