We're here early because younger daughter has her final rehearsal before her solo in this suddenly chilly morning's "inter-generational" service. There will be bongos, bells, and inaudible Bible readings by coerced pre-adolescents. Younger daughter has been carefully preparing an ugly duckling of a little song entitled "Beautiful". I've been listening to her prepare over the past few weeks; it's devilishly difficult to sing, with an odd meandering melody. Then there's the lyrics:
Beautiful is a flow'r, the sea; and sometimes beauty is me
Beauty is summer, the grass or the snow; or even seeing animals, a fawn and the doe.
Beauty is the prairie, the forest, a bird; and sometimes beauty can be just a word.
Beauty can be a sunset that rises; Beauty can be many colours, shapes and sizes.
Wait a minute. A sunset that rises? Fortunately, the Resident Fan Boy explained to me that it was poem by a girl who died at age eleven. Oh. Okay. He also pointed out that only a child raised on the Canadian prairie could come up with "Beauty is summer, the grass or the snow...." Every Prairie kid knows that snow can show up anytime.
Younger daughter will not sing, as it happens, until an arts-based "reflection time", based on "God's Loving Ways" (the ten commandments, but that made God sound way too bossy). Each "Way" has been carefully rephrased: "Honour thy mother and father" has become "Pay attention to your parents and other adults who love you." Not quite the same thing, is it? Anyway, the congregation has fifteen minutes to cut out images from magazines and clue them to the appropriate
When we return, the Resident Fan Boy is gleefully snipping something out. He's discovered an ad for Genesis Compost which declares: "Your tomatoes will be the envy of your neighbours!" Oh, the irony. He's gluing it under Loving Way #3: "Be careful how you use my name, whether you are speaking in anger or joy." (Loving Way #10 is probably more appropriate but that's clear across the sanctuary.)
Younger daughter's task is to sing the congregation back into the prayers. And she does it.