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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Spirit Wind

Oh the irony...
We started school today and the topic is Wind.

While getting ready for school this year, my summer was spent re-organizing and cleaning nearly every inch of my home. While pulling things out of my closet, I discovered a handwritten phone number for a friend I lost recently. I did not get to talk to her before she passed, and this will always remain one of my greatest sources of sorrow. Her memory lives on in the name of my daughter, a decision made en route to her funeral while I was 7 months pregnant.

Her memory lives on, too, I've discovered, in many of the songs we sing in worship. I am a die-hard alto and automatic harmonizer. But in recent years I've had to fight that tendency and sing melody for church worship leading. There is a gift I am given now in a Spirit wind that only she and I can hear as my angel-friend sings in my ear now as I lead the music many times on Sundays. I can almost audibly hear her voice in my ear many times as I recall the many hours we spend singing together, and the ease with which things always fell together for she and I. We had a natural collaboration unlike anything I've ever experienced with anyone before or since.

Things began to ramp up for us. We had someone interested in recording our first CD. We had a guitar player and a drummer. We did a photo shoot for the album cover. We were singing in coffee houses, churches, and other events. After years of writing songs together and dreaming together, we were seeing things start to come together. Then the winds of change picked up.

She married quickly and unexpectedly one weekend shortly before her betrothed was shipped off to the warfront. She called me from her new home. She had moved several states away. We unwittingly lost touch as we began our families and dedicated our efforts to their raising and rearing. But we had an unspoken understanding that this was a higher calling than even our music had been.

At her funeral her father and I spoke of this high calling, and how despite the depth of the calling we both had in our younger years for our music, we both focused on our children and husbands with great joy and dedication. There was no shame in redirecting our previous musical efforts toward recording an album to the church bodies we served. Some might say we had 'settled' for lives as dowdy wives and mothers. Yet she and I would raise our coffee mugs to toast the highest calling we had come to know.

Though I miss your hugging arms, and sharing the laughter with you around campfires, I thank you for singing in my ear as the wind of the Holy Spirit moves through our worship. I look forward to harmonizing with you for ten thousand years above, angel-friend.

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