Monday, January 12, 2009
:::God speed the right:::
in my ward, every member counts. every single one. there is no thinning out of callings here (why, we need someone to pass out the hymn books, and then another saint to earn their salvation by collecting the hymn books at the end of the hour!), we don't have time for that. every week people are working hard to perfect the saints and proclaim the gospel to the plethora of investigators and newly Mormonized in our congregation (redeem the dead on your own time). if you want to see the real inner workings of the church -- no fluff, no dog and pony show, no weepy testimonials about wonderful roommates or hot wives -- come to my ward. it gets gritty sometimes, be ye warned.
so far, my contributions have been small. i worked out a way to bring dinner to the missionaries though i have no car and no kitchen. i've said a few prayers and led some songs. i tried my hand at wrangling a baby. easy-peasy. nothing compared to trying to teach your sunday school lesson less than four weeks after having surprise quadruple bypass (yeah), but i do what i can.
i'm telling you all this great stuff about my ward to lead up to this fact -- we're understaffed sometimes. which means that sometimes we don't have anyone who can play the piano in relief society.
yes, mom, yes.
today i accompanied the singing in our blessed meeting of sisters for the first time in my life. it wasn't great, but i wasn't expecting a miracle. my standard prayer before exams at byu was, 'Lord, help me insomuch as i've helped myself. i probably didn't study enough, but i ask Thee to help me remember what i did study. please bring back all the things i learned when i was actually paying attention...and a little bit more, if i've earned it.' i haven't seriously practiced the piano in more than a decade. there's only so much angels can do for you.
my playing was far below virtuoso level. i didn't have my contacts in so i could barely see the music, i was too busy working out fingering to count beats properly, and the poor conductor was probably wondering who's lead i was following. but, i got the job done. that's all that matters, right? certainly not that i fumbled my way through chords, not that i lost my place at the end of 'sweet hour of prayer', and definitely not that i downsized my performance to right-handed playing. when i got up to play the closing hymn -- a rousing rendition of 'God speed the right' -- i told my fellow sisters, 'when i make mistakes, just keep singing -- loudly.'
we made it through, and that was that.