I'm quite behind in logging our choir anthems, mostly because we've been gone a lot. Rather than attempting to catch up, I'll just begin again with last Sunday. Both were repeats: Give to the Winds Your Fears, and The Lord's Prayer, and were in honor of the 50th wedding anniversary of two of our church members. What else do they have in common? Cello parts. A generous member of the congregation has made it possible for us to have a cellist play with us once a month, and Raphael is a favorite of us all.
He also provides good spiritual excercise for me, as he is very active with a local youth orchestra, the very existence of which is a burr under my skin because of a series of unfortunate and painful events that took place nearly 20 years ago. Whenever he comes, I can't help remembering those times. It's absolutely ridiculous that I should still allow it to upset me—not to mention that I'm commanded to forgive even my enemies, and if these folks made our lives difficult for a while they certainly didn't cut off anyone's heads. So I listen to Raphael's beautiful cello music and forgive, again. People who preach forgiveness sometimes forget to warn that it must often be renewed many times. Or, as a friend puts it, "I placed my sacrifice on the altar, but it crawled off."