Life is so full of blessings! Some days everything is right in the world, and all I can do is hold my hands out and twirl in a circle like a child experiencing the most captivating of spring mornings. As I pulled my guitar from the back seat, I leaned against the car and studied the Rockies to the west. How fortunate I was to live in the front range of Colorado. The mountains still had a trace of winter‘s snow yet the earth breathed warm against my face. Like a feather from a pointed cap, a wisp of a cloud hung from Longs Peak, painted against the bluest of skies. I smiled from the inside out…But even days like this can harbor hail and rain behind a white and fluffy mask.
What better place to be on Sunday morning than at church! Bible Study starts at 9:30 and worship at 10:45. But I was there at 8:00 to get ready for the rest of the praise team. We always rehearse the songs one last time before the service starts. The sun was just breaking over the box company across the street to the east and its rays warmed me as I walked across the parking lot.
I turned on the sound system, did a mic check, tuned my guitar, and leaned it against the stand next to the drum set. God is so good. Our team always played well and the Lord worked through the music. But we needed a driving beat to support the melodies. So we prayed, and God provided.
Simone, our lead singer, married Ken--a drummer. A praise team may never be complete, but we surely sounded that way. For six months now we had improved each week. Even some of the more senior members in the congregation commented positively on the worship music. I beat a simple 4/4 rhythm, smiled, replaced the sticks and walked outside.
Just arriving in his old truck, Ken parked next to the curb.
“Hey, Ken!” I yelled as he closed his door. “Great day for worship!”
He fidgeted with his hands and didn‘t look me in the eyes. “I’m here to load up my drums.”
The service started in 2 hours. What was he going to do with the drums that couldn’t be done here?
“Why?” I asked as he walked past me.
“I’m leaving Simone.”
I nearly stumbled as my feet stopped. Simone is one of the sweetest, gentlest people I know. “Ken, Ken…” I caught up with him. “You’re leaving, Sim…”
“My mind’s made up. She’s impossible. I can’t stand another day in the same room with her.”
He moved as if he had no time to stop and talk. When he handed two of the symbols my way, it dawned on me--the drummer was leaving; our lead singer wouldn’t be in church…I would need to change the scheduled songs. Then, as quickly, the desire to embrace them both and bind them together washed over me. I never had seen any signs of trouble. Was I blind? You don’t come to this overnight.
Carrying the base drum, Ken hurried down the sidewalk with me right behind. “I needed to get here before she did,” he said. “I don‘t want her taking my drum set.”
“Surely, she wouldn’t…”
He was already packing the drum in the back of the truck.
What could I say? If he was worried about the drums more than about Simone, my talking wouldn’t change his mind. And he was more interested in having me help carry his instruments than listening. We went back for the remaining drums. The last I saw of Ken, he gunned his truck and bounced out of the parking lot. I stood, numb, on the curb as he disappeared down the road.
What was I going to tell the rest of the team? And, Simone, I would need to visit with her to let her know that she was still an important part of our group. We had to be there for her, especially now. If Ken had been this upset, she must be devastated. Couples have troubles, but something like this can knock the wind out of a person--especially a lady like Simone. How could they not work through this! Oh, Simone!
The sound person arrived and went right to the sound booth. The other guitarist began tuning his guitar. The bass singer sat at the piano and plucked out his line on one of the songs. I sat with my head down. At the sound of the foyer door opening I looked up. Simone walked in. What a rock! Even today! But she shouldn’t feel obligated to be here. We could get by without a lead singer. We wouldn’t need to sing any new songs. Her parents lived just north of town; she should be with them. Or with her sister in Fort Collins.
I could just ignore it, but that wouldn’t be right. She’s like a sister to me. Taking a deep breath, I wiped a tear from the corner of my eye and hurried to the back, my insides torn apart for her. “Simone...”
She turned to me.
“…I’m so sorry about you and Ken.”
“What about Ken and me?”
How often people hide their hurts! She didn’t need to keep it from us. I already knew. I paused and studied her a moment. Her eyes weren’t a mask; she was the image of innocence… Ken hadn’t said anything to her! Unseen hands turned the screw on a vice that squeezed me from every side. I wanted to be someplace else…anywhere else.