Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Listening to my sister's voice . . .

After years of dropping hints, asking for help in lieu of presents, I managed, with the advice of a Wal-Mart employee, to find what I needed to hook my computer up to my mother Jean’s TV.

Before you instantly disparage Wal-Mart employees, please read on.

I went to the WM in search of a HDMI cable to enable me to link my Netflix account to my mother’s TV & to hopefully watch a live broadcast of Sugar Creek Baptist Church every Sunday morning.

Sugar Creek has an extensive ministry to members who are no longer able to attend services.  Each week, we receive a CD with a recording of the Sunday service – the sermon, not the worship portion of the service.

For both Jean & I – Jean the Church of Christ convert & myself the wayward Baptist – the worship portion – the music – is core, essential to experiencing a service.

That, & Jean soon wearies of listening to the sermon & falls into her napping state.

So, technologically challenged soul I am, I knew it was possible to connect my computer to Jean’s TV.  Unable to convince my IT guru (aka as Alpha Son) that I needed his help, I researched.

And went to the local Wal-Mart.

After perusing the cables, I reluctantly chose one that was more expensive than my budget.  As I was pondering my proposed purchase, a voice next to me said:

Could I help you with something?

The body belonging to the voice was tall & lanky, really thin & pale & fit my preconceived idea of a true & trusted computer guru in the making.

So I replied:

I suppose that I did look a wee bit trepidacious about my choice.

The WM associate’s reply was priceless:

Actually, Mam, I sensed you appeared a bit uncertain.  What is it that you need?

So I told the future IT guru in the making what I needed.  He informed me thatI chose a really, really fine cable – an expensive cable.  Then he pulled a much less expensive choice & assured me that it would accomplish the same goal.

And that much less expensive choice has transformed the options open to Jean & to me when our standard cable choices become repetitive.

And this past Sunday, after consulting with my brother in law David, we were able to watch a live broadcast of a Sunday morning service at Sugar Creek Baptist.

And watch & hear my sister Janet sing.

Listening, I could not immediately remember the last time I heard my sister sing.  I remember listening to her in grade school choir performances.  And in choir at our church in El Paso. 

And how her voice, her text, was discernible among all the voices.

I think the last time I heard my sister sing was before she & her husband joined Sugar Creek Baptist.  They were active in a small congregation & I went with my mother & her beau Bill to a service.

Janet sang a solo.

Via Dolorosa.

I remember the lyrics, in English & Spanish, although I had to ask her to verify the title. 

Either language -  I heard her voice, her text.

Where my sister’s gift for music & musical expression came, I cannot say.  Our youngest brother has the same gift.  We share the same DNA, but the mix left us with very different gifts & talents.

Music was, & remains, central to my being.  I grew up with music during worship services, with music in Jack & Jean’s home, with music on the radio & ingrained in my soul.

I cannot sing.  I desperately, but not quite desperately enough, wanted to play the piano.

My voice, my text, comes from a different place.

But I hear.  I hear when someone sings in the center of the note.  Even when my initial concentration is on the lyrics, I hear.

I heard my sister’s voice, above all the others in the praise group on last Sunday’s service. 

It was not the first voice I heard this past Sunday – but, for me, it was the most important voice & text on the stage.

And hearing my sister's voice, I wept.

When I regained some semblance of self control, I looked at Jean when Janet’s face came across the screen & asked her if she, too, heard Janet’s voice.

Jean smiled & said, yes, always.

Hearing my sister’s voice, the voice I know so well, the voice that talks with me, shares with me, reasons with me, sometimes chastises me, often challenges me, argues with me & the voice that supports me in our journey with Jean, reminded me of who I am at the core.

My sister’s voice, her text, is different than mine & we express our texts in different ways.  Her way, her gift, overwhelms & humbles me.  I cherish those differences. 

So ,I am looking forward to next week’s broadcast. . . and listening to my sister’s voice.

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