< Upheaval: The flute girl

Monday, April 23, 2007

The flute girl

She sits at the end of a pew that is all her own. She comes with no other person, but each week is accompanied by a hard black case. Inside it is her voice.

She has no sight. Her eyes cannot percieve the curious stares of the "regular" members. She doesn't know that her pew alone is the least populated in the whole building. She has felt her way down the aisle, a faint smile on her lips. She has made herself comfortable at the end of her pew, and she waits for the music to start.

Each other member of the congregation lifts his voice. We sing loudly with the praise band, familiar words coming easily, whether we think about their meaning, or what we want to do for lunch.

She, in turn, lifts her flute from it's case. She holds it to her lips and begins to play, perfectly in tune with the music of the praise band. The reedy melody from her flute captures the attention of those who have not already seen her. We crane our necks to find the origin of the sound.

She plays every song, then she places her flute gently to the side as the preacher begins his message. He speaks about loving those who persecute us, referencing Romans 12. He emphasizes repaying evil with good, heaping coals upon the hearts of those who bring us trouble in the name of our faith.

Is this irony? Do the others around me realize this? For weeks, we have watched her. For weeks, at our small group Bible study, we have discussed her odd behavior. We have even discussed "ways to approach her" about her inappropriate flute playing during service.

And yet she smiles, and offers her gift. Not to us! Why would she need to please us? Sinners and those with hearts blackened by judgement! Who are WE to even take notice of her?

No, it is a humble offering to her Lord.

And He loves it.

4 Comments:

Blogger Kelly said...

What a lovely post. Thanks for sharing it.

6:20 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

absolutely true. Whatever we have, we should bring to the Lord in praise. It is like the song that talks about how much he loves the off-pitch singer behind him every Sunday. God is not there to judge our offering of worship, but to rejoice with us, to share our talents and gifts, and to be lifted up by our love.

This was a beautiful post!

7:54 AM  
Blogger louann said...

No matter how 'small' it the eyes of the Lord, it is BIG for as long as it comes from our heart.

Beautiful post.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Jayleigh said...

Amanda,

Wow!!! I can perfectly visualize her playing with every song on her flute. An amazing piece of writing.

I love how you ended by saying He loves it. I am positive you're right, because it's a humble offering to her God. What an amazing heart, not to care about what others think of you and just be able to worship.

I'm wondering if someone from the band might say something to her, inviting her to join them.

In theory, it sounds so sweet that a girl would play along with the band from her pew... but I know the reality from my 34 years of attending a very small church. If anyone gets the slightest bit wacky, others stare and whisper.

And again I'm left wondering... mostly wondering how it is that WE as a church feel like we can tell someone else the approptriate way to worship.

God welcomes all of our worship that is pure and from our hearts.

Thank you for this image. You've really got me thinking now. :-)

10:00 AM  

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