Puzzler's Corner Blog, Midwest District, DS Margie Crawford Blog

I remember March 2020 vividly.  Members of the Michigan Annual Conference gathered for a special session to consider a motion for General Conference which was planned for a few weeks later. I attended the Appointive Cabinet meeting that week and stopped by the store on the way home to pick up a few essentials.

That’s when I first noticed that something was off.  Some shelves were empty.  No fruit or vegetables or even bread.  There was hardly any toilet paper in the store.  Disinfectant wipes were also scarce.  And the next day, our faith communities had to decide whether or not to postpone in-person worship until COVID protocols could be put in place.

In those first few weeks, we had to adjust to masking for church, sitting at least six feet apart, checking our temperatures, repeatedly washing our hands, and all the other recommendations that were shared by state and national health organizations.  Like many others, I had to learn all about Facebook Live and Zoom to continue worshipping and praising the Lord.

I called my brother-in-law one week and we decided to virtually attend a church service on Palm Sunday.  Although he and I were sitting in our living rooms over 300 miles apart, we celebrated God’s awesome presence together.  I have adjusted, for lack of a better word, to attending church through my computer, but it’s not the same.

The thing I missed most was the singing.  Not just the hymns, but the complicated harmonies that the composers created for most songs.  A few weeks ago, for the first time in over two years, I was singing with people in the same room, tenors, altos, sopranos, basses, and baritones, creating chords and complementary melodies, all blending together to praise our Lord.

I also love praying the Lord’s Prayer with others.  It’s not quite in perfect unison. I don’t believe it ever was, but it’s great to listen to other voices as we share our joys, successes, struggles, and failures with our Creator. Some say it faster than others, taking more or less time to pause between each phrase.  The flow of the sibilants is almost a sighing song of its own.

Last week, I was part of a service where there were a lot of young children.  I didn’t realize how much I missed their squeals reflecting their joy, hunger, and peace as only toddlers can.  And the conversations.  People gathering together to catch up with one another about what has happened since we last met.  Each conversation was a different kind of music as voices ebbed and flowed in the sanctuary.

I hope that the next time you are in church, you are able to take a few minutes to listen to the rhythm of voices as we talk, sing and pray together. Our time with one another is the music of the spheres. May we continue to make a joyful noise to our Lord.  And Amen.