30 minutes after the trombonist declares a Hymn of Praise has begun, Mosaic Woman and the other 100 or so members of the Academy Chorale climb onto the risers behind the orchestra. 60 minutes after they emerged to sing, I am present to that trombonist again who is crying out into the evening by himself.
The men sing out... "Let all that has life and breath sing praise to the Lord."
The women join in and with the intensity the line deserves, the concert ends. We applaud to praise the performance of Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 2. To praise the gifts of those whose passion for music have been revealed.
Nine hours earlier I am handed a ball of clay. With Jeremiah (18:1-6) and Paul (Romans 9:21) in my head I am told to do this... For twenty minutes keep your eyes closed, and get to know the clay.
as I worked the clay I pulled out a variety of ridges... stained glass, jazz, music, gardening, Mosaic woman, teaching, science, friends, church, prayer, doodling, family. I didn't name them as I went, I just knew there were plenty to make and I kept working those ridges. But when I worked the one side (of what Mosaic Woman thinks is a jaw bone of an ass), the other ridges were faced down in the palm of my hand. It occurred to me that if I just relax in God, his hand will shape me; smooth out those sharp edges. When I allow God to be part of this formation of who I am , the other parts that are resting gently in God's hand are still being shaped.
Last weekend I went out to weed a Hosta bed that runs down the side of our house. God, worked another part of me as my attention was caught by a movement in my neighbor's dogwood.
I love warblers and in years past I have spent the first two weeks of May celebrating their migration. This year one came to me. Four days later, between a stained glass store and my parent's condo, I stop by the Monocacy Nature Center, a home away from home 25 years ago, and a warbler hot spot in the Lehigh Valley.
I didn't see any warblers on that short walk, but there was that deeper desire: to stand still and listen to water flow and birds sing.