Reflections on loving God, being Catholic, being a woman, being ill, loving life and anything else that comes to mind.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

P Is For Rev. P., Rose P., and mostly Pouting At God

“You do have a lovely voice,” the choir director told me. “Do you know this?” I took the sheet music, and began to sing, “Why should I feel discouraged?” He stopped me, “Make ‘feel’ two syllables, the second a bit lower than the first.” He played the notes on the piano. “And hold the last syllable of discouraged.” I sang as instructed. “Now try raising ‘raged’ up a bit,” he played again. “Why should I fe-el discou-raged,” my voice raised at the end. “I want you to learn this. I want you to sing this!” I bounced in my seat. Rev. P. walked in, a big smile on his face, “Hello…” His forehead furrowed, “Are you practicing with the choir?” “She can sing!” the choir director’s face lit up with a huge smile. Rev. P. ushered the director to a side room. “I have to say ‘No’,” Rev. P. told me when they returned. The choir director’s face was stormy. “If I let you sing with the adult choir, I’ll have to let every child who is ten or older sing. You’ll have to wait until you’re sixteen.” My heart was down in my toes. I slowly left the choir area and went to sit in the back of the church.

“God Never Fails!” Someone had written the words on the chalkboard that hung on the wall over the last pew. I blinked moisture from my eyes, looked at the words again. My lower lip quivered, “Yes You do!” My voice was a low hiss. “You do fail! All I wanted was to sing with the good choir but You won’t let me! You do fail! I’m never speaking to You again!” The well gushed out. I wiped the tears away with the back of my hand, “I’m never speaking to You again!” My nose ran. I wiped it with the back of my hand, “I’m never speaking to You again!” Rose drove me home. As we waited for someone to open the front door, Rose held her arm about my shoulders,  “I’m sorry you can’t sing with us.” Her voice was gentle. I looked up at her, my lip quavered again. I mutely hissed, I’m never speaking to You again! 

Good morning, I silently told my Friend as I did when I awoke each day. Oh… My face was suddenly hot, I’m never speaking to You again! My reflection in the mirror was puffy, my cheeks tear-burned, my eyes red. I’m never speaking to You again! I walked to school alone. Crocuses poked their head from the earth, “Oh look…” I stopped, my face hot again. I hissed, “I’m never speaking to You again!” The well spilled over. I gave my lunch to Frankie, I’m never speaking to You again! I sat alone on a bench in the schoolyard, the well continued to leak, I’m never speaking to You again! Thursday passed. Friday passed. Saturday passed. The well leaked often. Over and over, I forgot, began speaking to my Friend. Each time, my face flushed with heat, “I’m never speaking to You again!” I’m never speaking to You again! “I’m never speaking to You again!”

In his long black robe, “The ladies usher guild will be hosting Sunday dinner before the evening Communion service next week,” Rev. P. announced. I sat, doubled over, looking at my face in the black patent Mary Janes, “I’m never speaking to You again!” Rev. P. cleared his voice with a clicking cough, “I have one last announcement today.” Another clicking cough, “It’s come to my attention we need another choir.” My back straightened. My eyes were glued to Rev. P.’s face. “We have enough nine to fifteen year olds to begin a youth choir.” Another clicking cough. A bright warmth soared from my toes into my heart. “The adult choir practice will be moved back half an hour to seven-thirty. The youth choir will begin practice at six-thirty.” My face was a huge smile. It filled my eyes, filled my heart, filled my toes, You didn’t fail me! The words sang withing me. I wanted to shout aloud, You didn’t fail me! In my heart, I pranced around the aisles, a young colt: You didn’t fail me! Rose met me on the church porch, “I’ll see you on Wednesday. You’ll have to come early for dinner.” I nodded my head eagerly. Bright light shone within me; the tingle of my Friend’s arms suffused me.

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