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Thursday, November 18, 2004

What was that, anyway? 

by Kristine
This is going to take a minute to explain, and non-musicians may have a little trouble imagining what I'm trying to describe, but hang in there with me for a minute...

I sing in a little choir--a pretty decent little chamber choir, about 10 people to a part, not quite enough tenors (of course), but not a bad group. The director, Gary, is new this year, and very, very good.

This last Tuesday night, Gary was late to rehearsal. He'd had to go out of town for the weekend--some crisis with one of his parents to attend to--and his plane was late getting back. So he was frazzled, and we were poorly warmed up, and the rehearsal was a bit haphazard and sluggish. Until the last half-hour, when Gary, inspired by the music (Gerald Finzi's Magnificat, if anyone's wondering) and some degree of panic about our impending concert, cranked things up a notch. He managed to find some little extra bit of energy, and implored us to give a little more, to go ahead and make mistakes, to just *sing.* And he managed to make himself a little vulnerable--a goofy look here, an awkward big conducting motion there, trying to make a point. All of a sudden, everybody was really, really singing. There was music! It's hard to describe exactly, but if you've ever been in a musical group, or a theater production, or (probably, I wouldn't know) a sports team that just got it all together all at the same time, you know that magic.

The point is this: for me, the feeling in that rehearsal on Tuesday, when all 37 of us in that room were reaching, straining, for something ineffable and lovely, was indistinguishable from the few times I've been really sure I was feeling the Spirit in a church meeting. It makes sense to me that God would bless a bunch of his (their) children who are working together for something good and true and beautiful with his Spirit--why ever not? And yet, it feels a little strange to say "I felt the Spirit very strongly at choir rehearsal last night."

So, two questions for you:

1) Was it the Spirit filling the choir room?
2) Why does it feel funny to say that?
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