Many attention-grabbing situations occurred near and far over the past weeks that were fit to raise an eyebrow and draw the gaze. And also blessings and joys — and even challenges of the Christmas and New Year seasons . . . an’ the weather — now that’s a great Canadian conversation starter!
Instead of those things, I’ll mention a small matter that almost got past my attention as of gaze-raising significance.
The elementary school two of our local grandkids attend put on an excellent Christmas concert. The 8-year-old loves to sing and took her place, as expected, in the primary choir. Her older brother, eleven, had volunteered for the role of emcee.
Now that was surprising, and who would’ve thunk since he’d had anxiety issues a while back? I was glad to hear that he actually volunteered for the role. And yet, I responded to that news with a cocked eyebrow and a quiet prayer or two, wondering whether he was striving to appear more brave than he was.
The big night came and the humble gymnasium proved far too small. The permitted 368 seats were filled, and people stood all around the walls, stacked 5 and 6 deep. Some families found a spot in an ante room behind the platform, while others had to content themselves with standing in the hallways. I thought, Goodness, this is a fire marshal’s nightmare!
The members of the first choir to perform filed in and took their place, and after the principal’s welcome comments, the girl and boy co-emcees stood to do their stuff.
Faced with an audience of 500 to 600 people . . . How will our grand-youngster do? Will he show nervousness or anxiety?
Steady as a rock. Clear and coherent. The young man and his young lady counterpart were a great team. My raised eyebrows were followed by quiet praise to God for answered prayer, and for growth.
Admiration and thanks were also due to the music teacher who worked with the children so that every class in the school was represented in an enjoyable, well-executed program.
Inspirational surprises sometimes come to us from unexpected places, such as recounted above. And yet, I could have wished for at least one Christmas carol to be sung in that school program, or to have had even one clear reference to the Baby Jesus and Mary and Joseph. But there was none.
As good as the presentation was, it was totally secular. That’s the way it is nowadays in the public school system. Changed days; it’s a reality.
That said, I saw my wife’s and my prayers answered in one eleven year-old boy who had overcame irrational fear and anxiety, and who fulfilled well the function for which he volunteered. More than that, I think I may have gained a glimpse into God’s potential for his life.
I’m glad that small but significant victory didn’t pass without it occurring to me to acknowledge it as an eyebrow-lifter, a gaze-raiser and hope-inspirer, for a praying grandpa and grandma.