The Fabulous Familiar

Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Opera Lady

As soon as the church song leader announces that we are about to sing, "O, Lord, Our Lord," everyone braces themselves.

They know it's coming, and they await.

Eyes dart around, scanning the large auditorium for the mystery lady. She stands out-- yet is totally anonymous; she is a legend yet a missing puzzle piece.

She is the lady whose "Forevermore" in the last stanza can make a deaf man hear and an old dog die.

I have always had the urge, during the singing of this number, to direct her rafter-hitting note from my seat. Today--though I may have tried to refrain-- I could no longer resist the opportunity. To the embarrassment of my roommate next to me, I looked at her with that "get ready" look. It was coming; the showcase event.

I enthusiastically waved my finger in the air to the exact rhythm of "for-ev-er-more." Then, as I raised my finger slightly to show an octave raise while mouthing, "It's almost here," she once again followed through. She hit that Amen so that the angels in heaven could hear; I am sure they rejoiced as did I that she once again hit this impossible note.

I want to find this woman. I want to walk up to her and ask her a few questions. "How did you find out you could hit this note?" "Did you ever try to do it at your present volume and miss it entirely?" "How many people have gone deaf who sat to your left and right?" Those are only a few.

The truth is, I'm jealous. I am a follower. If the person sitting next to me is singing alto, I sing alto. If they are singing soprano, I sing soprano. I haven't quite captured the bass line for when I sit by males, but I'm getting there.

This woman isn't afraid to fail. She isn't afraid to have a church of 2,000 wonder where she is sitting. She isn't afraid of cracking a note and everyone noticing. She feels the Holy Ghost and knows that she is going to be there to hit that Amen. The song just wouldn't be complete without it. Any lesser woman would chicken out at the last second; but not Opera Lady.

In Budweiser radio commercial fashion: Here's to you College Church Opera Lady. Without you, Elder Bob would have missed the invitation song. Without you, the children would not have awoke for the upcoming Bible class. We salute you, College Church Opera Lady. May you continue to hit that note as long as you live.

A----(piercing note}----men!


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