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TITLE: It Was Only a Concert
By Lisa Vella

Brenda rushed to answer the phone with a bounce to her step. It was finally Thursday—the day of the big concert. She had been waiting to see, Christy Owens, her favorite Christian singer, ever since she heard she was coming to town three months ago.
“Hello!” she answered in sing-song fashion. Nothing could break her mood today.
“Hi, Brenda, it’s me, Patti.”
“Well, good morning! How are you?” asked Brenda.
“Not so great,” replied Pattie as she paused for a moment. “I can’t really go into any details right now, but I was wondering if you would be willing to watch the kids for me tonight and tomorrow. John and I need to go out of town at the last minute and there just isn’t anyone else to watch them,” Patti finished, sounding a bit flustered.
“Oh, Patti, but…” Brenda trailed off as she considered her friend’s request, and the possibility of not going to the concert tonight.
“Brenda, I know you were excited about tonight, but please trust me when I say this is really important. They could go with us, but we won’t be back until late tomorrow, and anyway, it would really just be better this way,” added Patti.
Brenda, a single mother, thought about the extra hours she put in at work so she could buy the tickets, pay for a babysitter to watch her five-year-old, Kendra, and make a little extra money to pay for the day she would miss at work. Getting out just wasn’t a luxury she normally afforded for herself.
“Honestly, I wouldn’t ask if it weren’t truly important,” Patti added.
Brenda thought she heard Patti’s voice crack and that was all it took to make her decision. “Ok, Patti, when will you bring them over?”
After she and Patti worked out the details and hung up the phone, Brenda decided she might as well call her friend, Sara, to let her know she would not be able to go. Five of them from her church were going to go as a group.
“What?” Sara shouted into the phone. “What do you mean you can’t come to the concert with us…because you are babysitting Patti’s kids?” Sara boiled. “Doesn’t she know about your concert tonight?” she asked.
“Well, she said she had something really important to do,” replied Brenda.
“You mean to tell me that she didn’t even say why she needed you?” Sara asked in amazement.
“No. She said she couldn’t really talk about it, but she knew I had this concert tonight,” Brenda said, getting a little irritated now, “and how excited I was to go. I trust that she would not have asked unless it really was important.”
“I guess,” Sara replied, “but I think it is a little bit selfish if you ask me.”

“Amazing Grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me…” the congregation trailed off as they finished singing the last hymn praise music.
Pastor Blakeslee spoke of the announcements in this week’s church bulletin and then asked the congregation for any prayer requests or praises. Several people stood up and spoke what was on their minds.
“Is there anyone else that would like to add anything?” asked the Pastor.
As a small broken voice at the back of the church spoke up, everyone turned back to see who it was and what she had to say. To Brenda’s surprise, it was Patti.
“Yes, I would like to request some prayers please,” as she stood up with baby Anna clinging tight to her body. “Last Thursday, I had to take John to a specialist in Cleveland because his doctor discovered a tumor in his brain. Doctors in this area do not have the medical technology to operate on tumors like this one, so getting into the specialist as quickly as we did was very fortunate. Had we waited much longer, it may have been inoperable. This is still a very scary situation for us,” added Patti, “and that’s why we really need prayer right now.” Patti stopped for a moment to stifle a few sobs, and then added, “I would also like to praise the Lord for my good friend who was willing to drop everything she was doing to help me out. Jesus was willing to lay down His life for us and it is such a blessing to know that there is a little bit of Jesus in us all.”
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