Hope has been part of the Youth Chorale of the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir for three years, younger choirs, for four more years. In those seven years, she has never heard the choir she was part of sing.
We’ve been in the audience, of course, listening, cheering (silently), moved. But Hope has always been on the platform.
Until Tuesday night. Tuesday night, her choir sang and she sat with us, in the audience, watching her friends singing a practice concert before they head to Newfoundland to be part of a wonderful choir festival.
She’s not going.
Music is core to her, music is how she expresses herself, music is Hope. This last year she was part of more choirs and ensembles and events than I can count. She loves it.
So why is she sitting in the audience?
Last fall she had to decide what to do this summer. She looked at the tour with the choir (which originally was to Europe). A wonderful time. Fabulous opportunity.
She decided to go to West Virginia instead.
Hurricane, West Virginia, doesn’t have cathedrals. No festival choir, no orchestra. Just a work camp with about 400 people meeting to scrape paint, and paint walls and help people.
Because although music is Hope, the music has to come from somewhere. And for her, last fall, it came from a choice to do something that wouldn’t be for her. She talked with God. They decided to go to West Virginia.
She’s a good kid. But she’s not the only one who makes choices every day to serve other instead of self. You’ve done it. I’ve done it. A bunch of guys a couple hundred years ago did it. One guy a couple thousand years ago did it.
Sometimes those choices cost us our comfort. Sometimes they cost our lives. And sometimes we sit and listen to the music that we could have been singing and think, “I miss that.”
And then we get up and go back to work with a smile, knowing that it would have been fun. But so is changing the world.