Mundanity, insanity, inanity. Daily life in any form or fashion it takes, usually with a positive spin. Life's a little easier with my rose-colored shades :-)
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Dear Brother Charles,
There are certain people whom you meet who are larger than life. Whose personality, energy, and love ooze from every pore onto anyone standing near them. Whose passionate commitment to sharing the love of Jesus with everyone they meet is contagious. Who makes an impression, if not a life-changing impact, on every soul they encounter.
Those larger-than-life people don't come around every day. We treasure them, even though at times we take for granted that they will always be here.
Then comes the time when they're not there. We reflect on the lessons they taught us, the fun we had, and the love we always felt, even when we didn't necessarily deserve it.
Brother Charles, you are that man for me. And for countless others.
As for reflecting on the lessons you taught me, that's easy. What's difficult is paring them down. Here are a few:
1) No matter how old you are, silly songs with hand motions are awesome.
2) When on a long road trip, be sure to eat green vegetables whenever possible, even if that means eating at a Golden Corral. Staying regular is a necessity.
3) Personal responsibility.
4) Sometimes you just need to buy the sports car. And nothing is cooler in 4th grade than the prospect of riding in a Miata.
5) Festival of Light rehearsals until midnight are when the goofy kicks in.
6) A glowstick is the best baton ever.
7) If you chew gum while you sing, you'll inhale it, choke, and die. And you will hear that story at the beginning of every choir year.
8) It's pronounced "Ha-leh-lu-yah," not "Hal-lay-loo-yuh."
9) Every McDonalds can use a chorus of "Hallelujah Amen."
10) It is a myth that, once you hit a certain age, you can't relate to teenagers anymore. You really are only as old as you feel. And "being cool" isn't some elaborate thing--its roots are in genuinely caring about others.
11) You don't need to take electronic devices on roadtrips. All you need is a deck of cards and some fun people for conversation.
12) Don't be afraid to show how much you love the person you married. They are a gift from God and should be treated as such in public and at home.
13) Nothing makes you feel more important than being trusted as a junior sponsor. Nothing makes you feel less important than cleaning out the bus after your charges leave it a mess (particularly scraping gummy LifeSavers off the floor).
14) Christians are not boring. We are fun people. We have fun, we are fun, and we like fun.
15) It's not a show or a program, it's a presentation and worship.
16) Every birthday should come with a kissing line.
17) Most songs sound better if you sing them at a slightly faster tempo.
18) When you're a French horn player getting "the hand," you know you're playing waaay too loudly.
19) Just when you think you're ministering to someone else, you realize that they're ministering to you. It's funny how that works.
20) A sacrifice of praise is not just a song. It's an attitude of worship that includes the preparation of the song, both musically and spiritually. This, I think, is one of the greatest lessons you taught me.
I think you have a fairly good grasp on how you helped me as a middle and high schooler. What you may not know, Brother Charles, is how you helped me as I became an adult. I was not in a good place emotionally and spiritually when you asked me to be a junior sponsor again for a trip all the way to Canada in 2005. I was angry and felt worthless, but I didn't want to show that. You gave me the opportunity to build relationships with youth who made me remember what joy really was. You gave me an opportunity to express myself in music, to worship God in music--something I had not realized that I missed doing. You gave me the opportunity to have FUN. You gave me the opportunity to soak up a little bit of your sunshine, so that it could be reflected back out. I can't thank you enough for reconnecting me with the God who knew I had worth all along and is worthy of my praise. And then you let me come back the next year and go to California after I spent a year in the "real world." I can never thank you enough for that lifeline. The verse, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him," a verse that had been on my closet door as a kid at home, became real to me again (Colossians 3:17). And I thank God that he provided that opportunity.
Now, I know that I'm not always going to agree with the things you said, but I do know that I will "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as
yourself.'" (Luke 10:27) I know that I will see you again one day, glowstick in hand, and I'll be with the shorties on the front row. I can't express how wonderful it feels knowing that you are out of pain, praising your Savior all the day long. But I'm selfish, and I will miss knowing that you are here.
Your "young people" will be getting together tomorrow night and Saturday to honor you and to honor God, for the best way to honor you is to honor God. We'll talk about good times, hug, catch up, and sing. I plan to take an entire box of Kleenex. I wish you were going to be there to see it. But while you're actually Swingin' with the Saints, we'll be singing about it. Hallelujah, Amen.
I'm your typical history nerd. I have a wonderful family, great friends who are like family, and three incredibly amusing pets (two dogs and a cat). History, music, my church, Sooner football, my sorority, and my fraternity are some of the things that get me talking. I love taking goofy pictures of random roadside attractions and weirdness I see in the world and my husband, aka partner in crime, helps me find them. And I'll tell you all about it, if you'll let me.