Just Playing Guitar

At the Thanksgiving service that Sher blogged about, I was afforded the opportunity to play a few songs in between the more powerful points of the service as a way to transition from section to section. When I was preparing for it, I remembered thinking that it was going to be nice; nice to sing songs with people, nice to enhance the worship experience with some fitting lyrics, and really just nice to play in general. I thought, “How fun to use my gifts to be a blessing!”

Less than a month to my 34th birthday and I’m still completely naive.

The first song i played was “How Great Thou Art.” It was nice. People smiled and nodded in agreement. These sweet people, dozens of them, waiting in chairs for a free thanksgiving meal, served to them by kindly Christian folks; they smiled and nodded.

It was hard to look at them. I was holding a pretty guitar, playing with an amp, my computer lit up the words for me. Sure, most of my stuff is low-end and cheap, but still…when did I get so much stuff?? Were they thinking that? Were they distracted by all of this?

Then I played “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” As i started, I worried about what cynicism might pop up in their hearts. Here’s this middle class white girl with her college sweatshirt on playing to US about God’s faithfulness. YEAH RIGHT! I have the same cynical ugly heart when I hear this song at weddings. Why shouldn’t these people, with absolutely next to nothing not be just as cynical at me playing this song?

“All I have needed thy hand hath provided…”

I heard Sher singing along. She was right in front of me. She knew all the words. “We should have printed words for them, ” I thought.

Almost done… “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow…Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside… Great is…”


That was when I heard it…There were a few people near the back, I could hear them singing along. I looked up and I saw two ladies dressed in layers. I also saw a middle aged man at least mouthing the words.

Then my eyes started tearing up as I processed the hundreds of times I have sung this song. All the times I’ve sung it resentfully at what I had not been given. Or all the things I had just written in my journal about being grateful for this year…”The opportunity to do this…or the chance to do so and so…” Even in my gratitude I still had this sense  that I had done something..that I had made things happen for myself…That anything I had was for any reason other than the Great Faithfulness of God.

After the actual service, I stayed with them, and I played every song I knew and every song that was saved on my computer. So, yes, I had hoped to use my gifts to bless others…perhaps a few were blessed, I hope they were. I know undoubtedly that despite my best effort at getting lost in myself, that room full of people absolutely blessed me.