Lord of the Dance
My husband, Jim, knows how to make a joyful noise. He’s been a shower singer all his life and loves music ---everything from hymns to classical music. He even likes elevator music. He also enjoys creating titles for phantom country-western tunes, such as “Her Words Were Like Vinegar, and Now I’m in a Pickle.” But enough about his talent. It’s important to note that his love of music is superseded only by his total lack of rhythm and pitch.
As newlyweds, we belonged to a small church where I sang in the choir. One year, Jim was asked to narrate the Christmas pageant. As rehearsals progressed, he learned the words to the songs and, during final rehearsals, he decided to sing along since only a few men were in the choir.
Almost immediately, the choir director said, “Stop, men. Let’s review that last section.” They'd sung only a few bars when the director again stopped. “We’ve not had trouble on that section before--what’s happened?” he wondered aloud. Two of the men glanced at Jim. “Listen to the parts again,” he instructed. The pianist played the notes, and they began again.
“STOP!!!” the director now demanded. “ONLY the tenors this time.” Unsure if he was a tenor, Jim listened. The tenors performed perfectly. “Okay, now ONLY the basses.” Also confused over whether he was a bass, Jim listened. The basses performed perfectly. Satisfied, the director said, “Okay, let’s put it together.” Jim joined back in. Suddenly noticing that Jim was singing, the director stopped the rehearsal. “Jim?” he called.
“Uh…why don’t you just narrate for us? I think that would be best. You’ve got a great speaking voice, and you probably just…um… need to save your voice for those speaking parts. Okay?” Jim agreed to “save” his voice, and the Christmas program was a tremendous success.
Sometime later, Jim purchased a guitar and tried playing that, to no avail. We bought a piano but that proved too big a challenge. Then he tried the harmonica but “You Are My Sunshine,” was the only song anyone recognized, and the tempo was on the slow, choppy side. One Christmas, I put a kazoo in his stocking, and he found some success in that. There just isn’t a big demand for kazoo players, so it’s now tucked away somewhere.
Several years ago, we purchased tickets to see "Riverdance," which showcased Celtic music, and that was added to his favorite music. A year or so later, we watched the sequel, "Lord of the Dance," on PBS. The next day, the children were having breakfast when he came dancing into the room. “Guess who I am?” he challenged the kids.
“The scarecrow from Wizard of Oz,” one guessed. “Barney the Dinosaur,” another said. Other equally unflattering guesses followed.
“This should have been easy! Come on, don’t I look even a little like Michael Flatley in "Lord of the Dance?” he asked breathlessly.
“NO!” they declared in unison. Perhaps they were confused by his short, stout frame. I’m sure it had nothing to do with his style.
I used to wonder why God didn’t bless Jim with the ability to sing or play a musical instrument well. After all, he enjoys music more than most people I know. But through the years, Jim discovered he had other God-given talents. He’s an insightful Bible teacher and has served as a deacon and on numerous church committees. He’s a wonderful husband, a terrific father to our three children, and his grandchildren think he’s great. His employees say he’s a wise supervisor. His family and friends are blessed by his sense of humor, and he enjoys making a joyful noise through participation in congregational singing.
In Heaven, I believe his faithfulness in finding and using the talents he was given will be rewarded. As the master said to the faithful steward, Jesus will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things, and I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matt. 25: 21). Then,Jim may boldly lead a heavenly choir in a song of praise while flawlessly playing a golden harp, and, like King David, dance with joy before his Lord!
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