Southern Man

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Mixed Feelings

Two Christmas performances today. The first left Southern Man a little perturbed, but the second...

The opener was the annual Christmas drama at Southern Man's old church. Both of his daughters were participants (yeah!) but, as usual, his talented ex had a central role in the production as well. It surprised Southern Man how unsettling it was to go to the performance; he clearly hasn't moved beyond this particular issue as far as he thought he had. It didn't help that her speaking part was about troubled families and separation and possible divorce. But he did get to see and hear his daughters sing and see some old friends, and that was worth it.

Then this afternoon was an annual treat; a local choral society hosted a Messiah sing-a-long. Now, Southern Man is really a baritone (meaning that he can't dig deep enough to be a bass nor climb high enough to be a tenor) but he's sung the tenor line in Messiah many, many times. So he grabbed his well-thumbed score and headed to (of all places) the chapel at his university workplace, where he got to chat with his parents for a bit before joining the rest of the tenors - about half choral society, about half pick-ups and wannabe singers like Southern Man.

It was a fairly lean production - perhaps a third of the membership of the choral society, the church organ, a handful of instruments - but Southern Man was ready to relax and enjoy listening and singing. The organist did a nice job with the introductory prelude...and then came those wonderful opening words from Isaiah, in a high clear tenor...
Comfort ye, my people, saith your God...
And Southern Man pretty much lost it right there. The text to Messiah has always spoken to him in a powerful way but today...well, he wasn't able to do much other than sniffle and wipe his eyes and listen until well into the first hour.

Comfort is something that's been hard to come by lately. Southern Man's life has been pretty crazy these past few months- all that stuff he can't blog about, remember? And there are plenty of times when he just can't cope by himself. Fortunately, he doesn't have to. Lord, grant me comfort in these trying times. I know that I can't carry this load alone. I pray that You would grant me the courage to lay my burdens at Your feet and put my trust in You. Amen.


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