A New Dawn climber on the rose arbor in my front yard.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.” –Ephesians 5:15
Change has always been hard for me. Some of my friends constantly rearrange their furniture and their art objects, but I like to wake up every day to the same stuff in the same place in the same house. Those adventurous souls can’t wait to leave home and see new places, try new things. Usually when I travel, I can’t wait to get home. Except when I’m visiting family. Okay, sometimes even then I long for the comfort of my own chair and tea in my own cup.
Sometimes, though, circumstances force change. The last two years have created an upheaval that is unprecedented in my lifetime. No one has been left untouched. Has it been hard? Yes. Has it often been heartbreaking? Again, yes.
But in the midst of all this upheaval, there have been opportunities. I was devasted two years ago when my church closed its doors. I thought, “I’ll be back in church in two weeks, singing in the choir, visiting with friends, praising God with song.” But, no. It was a big city church where the leaders decided keeping the congregation safe was paramount. While taking precautions in the face of danger is always wise, it can be taken to extremes. Even after stores were open for business and people were back at work, my church’s doors were still closed. I felt as if my freedom to worship had been taken away.
“I tell you, if my disciples keep silence the stones will shout aloud.” Luke 19:40
Bereft of a place to worship and the camaraderie of Christians, I went back to the little country church were I grew up. It was built by my grandfather on family land. Through the years, most of my relatives worshipped there and many still do.
This small body of believers surrounded me with love. I was home again. I was worshipping with fellow Christians. A sense of joy returned. And then—opportunities galore.
The church had left the Methodist conference and gone independent. It was growing like wildfire. The second Sunday I was there, the choir director asked me to join the four or five people who made up the choir. (It was barely a quartet! We now have fourteen.) New families began to pour in, young mothers and fathers with young children. I volunteered to teach the two-to-six-year-olds. Little cherubs. All of them. Boone, who says God is in his heart and Sam, who prays for peanut butter. Mia, who loves making the star that led the Wise Men to Jesus and two-year-old Hank who grabs the plastic ukulele and marches around the ABC rug to sing, “Dee an Wi” every Sunday (That’s the children’s song, “Deep and Wide.”) Every Sunday morning is sheer delight for me!
Soon our growing church saw the need to add a Sunday evening service. Since the Sunday morning pianist and organist were both long distances away from the church, I volunteered to play piano at night. God gave me musical talents and I have used them for His praise in churches since I was eight years old. I could play only two songs then, and not very well. I now play concert versions of the magnificent old hymns like “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” I post many of my practice sessions on my Facebook page. You can also join us for worship via the FB page for the Church at Andrews Chapel.
Look for opportunities. They are everywhere.
God is good!