Sunday, May 04, 2014

I'm a bit dumb and blind, but eventually the Lord whacks me around the head hard enough and I get it.

We moved into the new house blah blah blah la la la more on that later.

Let's get to the important stuff, shall we?

Today the entire Relief Society lesson was given to practicing the hymn the RS are going to sing in church next Sunday.  "As Sisters In Zion".

The entire Relief Society lesson.

The sister who leads the music in Sacrament meeting, and who sings like an angel, and whose name I have not yet learned - maybe it's Catherine?  Probably not - anyway, she had found a beautiful arrangement.

And we struggled with it.  Oh my good gravy did we struggle.  Many of the sisters didn't understand the terms "alto" and "soprano" and sang the melody even when they weren't meant to.  One or two sisters could reach the high notes.  Most of them couldn't.

In the end the lovely arrangement was given up and instead it was decided that we would just sing the song as it was in the hymnbook.  It was less complicated and it sounded better.

Coming from my previous ward populated with ridiculously talented musical people, it was a reminder that I wasn't in Nashville anymore.  There Bro Kartchner could pull out a different arrangement on the fly.  Difficult musical arrangements would be handed out and would be sung perfectly almost immediately.

Here's what's important.  Pay attention now.

The sister next to me singing out of tune was singing with her heart full, as loud as she could, with as much feeling as she could.  She followed the words in the hymnbook closely with her finger.  At one point she turned to me and, pointing to a word, with broken heavily accented English said, "Seester, what is thees?"

And that's what it's all about.  It was wonderful listening to the astonishing musicians and singers in Franklin.  The sister next to me singing with all her heart to the Lord touched me deeply.  She sang with the Spirit.

From the first she has befriended me.  She has asked to come over to help me unpack.  She called to apologize that she didn't make it on the previous Friday because she had to work.  She has bought a plant to welcome us to our new home.  She has been giving and friendly and welcoming and kind.  And just a few days ago I found out that she was doing all this while dealing with her own struggles in life.  She wasn't able to sort out her visa and by summer will need to go back to her home country - something she is deeply sad and worried about.

She is an example to me, and I hope I can follow that example.


jugglingpaynes said...

That is such a beautiful story, thank you for sharing it. It makes me think of how we are spoiled in our church with an awesome choir and sometimes I would get embarrassed because my own husband is tone deaf. But he sings with all his heart, and when you think about it that's really what it's all about, isn't it? :-)

Peace and Laughter!

John Nguyen said...

It reminds me of the quote by Mother Teresa: "We cannot all do great things, but we all can do small things with great love." We all strive to do great things, but in the grand scheme of things, we are very small. Its important to do what we can with all our heart and spirit. Thanks for sharing! =)