Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hands up

 I went to SK's choir rehearsal yesterday, where I met a dozen of her friends, was re-introduced to the director, and sat in an uncomfortably prominent position, right where every eye in the room looked when they got distracted from looking at the director.  The choir sounded beautiful to my clearly untrained ear (I almost wrote eye there...and that's quite the thought, that one might see sound!).  Without so much as a scale, they launched into one of my all-time favorite Christmas pieces--Candlelight.  Also, without so much as a syllable spoken by the director.  In fact, it was half-way through the rehearsal before that director uttered a single word.  He clapped, moved his hands, pounded the piano keys, but didn't speak.  And when he finally did, the word was, "OK."  A few minutes after that he said, "Sit down," and it was like the flood gates opened.  I mean he began speaking in full sentences.  Elaborate sentences such as, "Are you ready to work?" as if they had been simply standing around with their fingers in their ears or even sleeping.

The other thing that caught my attention was that during the first song, a boy on the edge of the front row raised his hand.  And the director didn't so much as slow down, let alone call on him. This caused me a little consternation.  So a director who doesn't speak to but actually ignores his students?  This was not sitting well with my soul.  However, during the next piece more students raised their hands, and immediately put them back down, and after the director asked if they were ready to work, many students seemed to continually have hands in the air.  Some much more often than others.  I surmised (being the excellent surmiser that I am) that they raised their hands when they were confused about their parts.  I wasn't too far off the mark.  Later I was told that they raised their hands when they made a mistake.  This practice of owning one's mistakes meant that the director didn't have to stop and ferret out the culprit who was making the sound off in his perfect-pitched world.

What an amazing thing this practice would be for us.  Just owning one's mistakes by the quick raise of a hand.  Meanwhile the music of the whole goes on without interruption. Smooth and generally sweet, with rhythm and purpose.  Just that simple raised arm before God and humans alike, the owning of our sins could keep conflicts from getting out of hand (so to speak).  And, with our hands in the air, we could be assured that we were forgiven, because the music didn't stop, because the large outstretched hands of Christ's crucifixion tells us so, without speaking a word; and the glorious triumphant music of the resurrection never ends.  Do I hear a Hallelujah?

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  1 John 1: 9

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