Today was a huge singing day. I was supposed to sing at a child's birthday party this morning, but it was delayed due to illness. I'm not happy about that, but at least it eased up on things a little.
The first part of the day was a fundraiser for the Salvation Army and their series of group homes for developmentally delayed adults. A friend of mine works at one of the homes, so he gave me a call, and asked if I could help out. It was Strawberry Festival, which basically translated into a community festival - lots of booths, artisans, etc. They had a small stage with live music all day, and that's where I fit in. My job was to fill a 40 minute set. This ended up being a challenge for several reasons. The first is - I had no accompanist! I've been playing by myself more and more over the last year, but I've never had to do an entire set by myself. I picked out all my favourite songs, with not-too-difficult chords, prayed for steady hands and strong calluses (guitar players, you know what I mean!), and off I went. The next challenge came in the form of weather. Today was bright and sunny, but unseasonably chilly. So I had bright sunshine tearing up my eyes, while great gusts of wind took control of my music binder, my stand, my mic... Every once in a while I'd need to shoot my foot out to stop my stand from falling over. Guitar, singing, and gymnastics - I am soooo talented!
When I was booked, I asked what kind of music they wanted. They said they'd like Christian, but it didn't need to be. I was like, "Are you kidding? Bring it on!". I'm happy with the songs I did. They got a great response, and lots of people were singing along. I even did a few of my own: "I Call Out Your Name", and "All Because Of You". Today was a real challenge for me, but I'm glad I did it. I think I really held my own. The only weird part was when somebody called my music "country". Arg! Save that compliment for Gerald. I'll take "soulful" and "spirited" and "completely brilliant", thank you! ...... Oh, who am I kidding? I'll take any compliment!
After the fundraiser, I rushed back to church for a funeral, where I was the soloist. I'm not going to discuss any of the family's details, except to say it was a beautiful service, filled with great words and wonderful songs. I guess I just want to say how much events like this mean to my ministry. I feel a strong urge to provide comfort to the grieving, and I feel I can offer genuine support through my music. Clearly, all of this is influenced by my own experience with grief over the last few years. (It will actually be five years this December since we lost Steve. I can't believe it's been that long!) I feel I have a real understanding of the grieving process and I think I can provide a useful tool through music. I am so thankful for opportunities like today. It's certainly not enjoyable, but I take strength in knowing that I'm doing something good for people in this difficult time. I pray that my songs were a benefit to all those in attendance today.
I'm just craving more and more opportunities to minister to people through music. I just continue to pray, "Yes, Lord." Whatever you ask of me, I say, "Yes Lord."