Sunday, December 18, 2011

Handel's Messiah

I love Handel's Messiah. My mom loved listening to it while I was growing up and it stuck with me. I remember her telling me to listen to it and then sitting and trying to understand the words. Its not hard to feel the spirit and be in the mood for Christmas with it playing. One thing I loved about listening to it in my house (if I remember correctly) is that it wasn't just at Christmas that it would be could be the middle of July while driving in the car too.

So, recently, our community had a community sing along and were perfoming Handel's Messiah. Anyone could come and be in the choir and had the practices worked into my schedule, I would have signed up in a heartbeat. However, they did not. I did look forward to watching the performance and invited Great Grandma to come along. I expected to have G-gma, Dominic and I watching it together at the church and Sean could stay home with the littler kids. Well, then that weekend rolled around and we had an extra six-year-old in the house with us. Sean was really tired Sunday and needed to go to bed earlier than usual (his usual bed time is 8:30 because he's up at 3:45) and the performance was at 7. So, that meant that I had to take 4 kids (age 9, 6, 4, 1.5) to watch a long musical. Oh joy.

We gave it our best and found seats on the side so we could go out easily if we needed to. We needed to often. I felt bad for the people behind me with all our interupptions so I took the youngest 3 (Dominic and Great Grandma stayed to watch the whole thing) and went out in the hallway (2 minutes into the performance) and let the kids do whatever while I tried to listen. It was frustrating. My kids were playing ring-around-the-rosie at the top of 5 stairs on the landing. It was not how I expected this musical would pan out. I really wanted to sit and enjoy it.....and that just wasn't happening. I was trying to see the gold lining, G-gma and Dominic (and the people who were behind us) were enjoying it without interruption. I'm glad Dominic was listening and enjoying the music. I wasn't feeling like I was being able to enjoy it though and I'd really been looking forward to it. I was frustrated.

Until the last song. Taken from the New Testament, Isaiah 19: 6

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Even from the hallway I could feel the power of this song and I was reminded that Christ is such an amazing gift to us from our Heavenly Father. Given to the world as a baby to become the Savior of mankind. He is wonderful, my counselor, my Mighty God, my Everlasting Father, my Prince of Peace.

He knows me. He loves me. He feels my sorrows, my grief, my frustrations. He's gone beneath all that. He is the only one on this Earth that I can turn to that I can truly say understands me because he's been there. The only one, every time!

And so what started out as me feeling like I had wasted my time coming to the church to try to watch the Messiah, ended in strengthening my testimony while my kids played ring-around-the rosie by the stairs. I think sometimes Heavenly Father has to throw in his tender mercies wherever he can between the diaper changes and the snotty noses. I had been so daft as to think that the spirit couldn't leave the performance hall and would get stuck at the doors and not make it out to the hallway. That unless it had my full and undivided attention, I would not be able to enjoy Handel's Messiah. How silly of me! Didn't my mom already teach me that it doesn't matter where or what time of year you listen to it? That the message is strong and must and CAN be heard, even in July...and even in the hallway by the stairs.

For unto us a child is born...

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