There is a saying here, which literally translated means, “Don’t put your jacket away until the 40th of May.” It means there can be cold spells until the first week or so of June, but Judi and I are second-guessing local folk wisdom and have gotten out our summer wardrobe. But you never know…
Isn’t that like God? Just when we think we have him figured out, he throws us a curve ball (which isn’t so bad as long as we learn to hit them!). Who can figure him out anyway? Even in little things. For example, several days ago Judi and I started out on a walk in the morning for the sole purpose of getting some exercise, but before getting back home we ended up stopping at some herbal shops and drug stores as well as eating breakfast. Totally unplanned! You never know… With God you can expect the unexpected!
Take the nights of “hymns and more” this spring. These meetings arose from our times of “church” with one friend, singing hymns and worshiping together. Soon we decided to involve others in it, and Judi invited a number of friends who like to sing to come for an evening of “hymns and more.” After four such encounters now, the participants are eager to continue when we resume in the fall.
In these gatherings, we learn the music (as these hymns are basically new to people here), but also the story behind the text. We also work on sight singing, as most of the participants don’t read music. We’ve sung in four different languages, and some of the people want to hone their English pronunciation skills, as they also sing in other choirs. We end in fellowship around the table, talking and eating tapas brought by everyone. Our goal is that in each encounter people would leave full – as much emotionally and spiritually as in their stomachs.
“… four of them mentioned a recent crisis they’d been through which had reoriented their view toward God, and how music and this group has had a part in the healing process.”
The final meeting this spring was a special one. Each person had a chance to pick a favorite song from the repertoire. At the end each person shared a “take-away” from their time in the group so far. It turns out that of the eleven people present, four of them mentioned a recent crisis they’d been through which had reoriented their view toward God, and how music and this group has had a part in the healing process.
This was not particularly what we’d envisioned, but maybe it is a “curve ball” sent by God. Music and singing; need for emotional and spiritual healing… is there a connection? We’re still trying to figure it out and wondering what the next step might be. You never know… with God we can expect the unexpected!
Please pray for wisdom and creativity for Pablo and Judi this summer as they prepare to meet with this group again in the fall. Pray that they would continue learning how to hit the “curve balls” God sends them.