Last night I attended a Taize service at a local church. We entered the church, which was completely dark, lit only by candles at the front and the back of the sanctuary. We were given an order of worship, copies of the songs to be sung and a tiny flashlight so we could read both. I love flashlights. It was all I could do to keep myself from switching it on and off the entire service. I exercised incredible self-control. Praise God for small miracles.
The service was beautiful. There were large periods of silence interspersed with short chants led by a woman with a clear and beautiful voice. There were times to pray silently, to pray aloud and to light candles as an expression of worship. As my singing voice is sketchy at best and Latin isn't a language I jump easily into, I spent most of the time in silent contemplation. I found myself praying that God would remove all the worry and burden and sadness that seems to be holding me back from being the woman I know deep in my heart that I am supposed to be. There's a whole lot of all that stuff. God might need a forklift to haul it all away. It will probably take several trips. Lots of worry. Lots of sadness. Heavy burdens.
As much as I would like to say that there was some supernatural lifting of my spirit and I left empowered and changed, I left pretty much the same girl as I was when I walked in. I wasn't disappointed. I just wasn't transformed in a dramatic way. No big deal.
I woke up today, went for a run, stopped off at the market, baked a cake and then sat down for lunch. Tuna salad. Yum. I do like to read while I eat if I'm home alone and today was a day to start a new book. Cutting for Stone (Vintage) by Abraham Verghese is my latest read. I'm on page 13. It's amazing. I'm sure there will be many entries about this book. I more than kind of think I was supposed to start this book today, especially after my Taize experience last night. Here's why.
Marion is an orphaned boy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopa. He goes to Matron, "Missing Hospital's wise and sensible leader" (Verghese, 3) for guidance. She advises him to do the hardest thing he could possibly do as his life's work. When he questions her advice she tells him, and this is the part that stopped my tuna salad laden fork in awe of timing and providence, "Because, Marion, you are an instrument of God. Don't leave the instrument sitting in its case, my son. Play! Leave no part of your instrument unexplored. Why settle for 'Three Blind Mice' when you can play the 'Gloria'?" (page 6)
Marion takes her literally, protesting that he can't play any musical instrument, so how could he possibly play Bach's beautiful "Gloria".
Here comes the part I love.
The Matron tells him "'No Marion,' she said, her gaze soft, reaching for me, her gnarled hands rough on my cheeks. 'No, not Bach's Gloria. Yours! Your Gloria lives within you. The greatest sin is not finding it, ignoring what God made possible in you.'" (page 6)
Not Bach's "Gloria" but mine.
I have to think about this more.
I think I use too many words to be a blogger.