Yes, I know we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet, but yesterday was a Christmas day.
First, Anne Marie and I went shopping for gifts to fill our Christmas Child Shoeboxes, a project of Samaritan's Purse to provide Christmas gifts for underprivileged children around the world. Sharing these gifts is a way of demonstrating the love of Jesus. It is always fun to see just how much we can get in the shoebox! (We don't send junky stuff.)
I was having one of those days where I just felt completely wiped out, and would have just gone home and crashed for the rest of the day, but. . .Anne Marie reminded me that the Mannheim Steamroller concert was that evening. Our tickets had been ordered weeks ago. I was almost sorry I had a ticket. I was too weary to feel like going anywhere.
However, the tickets weren't cheap--how could I waste mine? I have loved the Mannheim Steamroller music for many years and have all their Christmas albums. I play those CDs over and over again every December. I could not miss the opportunity to hear that wonderful music live!
The concert was being presented twice and both events were sold out. Our tickets were for the five o'clock concert. When Anne Marie ordered our tickets she was able to get four seats together, and they were the first four seats from the aisle. This was important for her claustrophobic mother (that's me, unfortunately). We arrived shortly after 4:30; we had time to settle in and read the program before the concert began.
My writing skills are simply inadequate to express how wonderful the music was.
The lights went down. The brief introduction was given. Hark the Herald Angels poured from the orchestra. From the first beautiful notes a bubble swelled in me that felt like I would burst. It was pure joy. I must have smiled through the whole concert, and my hands were tender from applauding at the end of each number. It was one of those experiences where I wish life had a rewind button so I could live it all again.
Yes, there were interesting effects with lights (including making it look like it was snowing), a little fog from the fog machine, and videos of various types accompanying each piece on a big screen behind the orchestra. Those added to the concert, but just the music would have been enough. It was that good. The volume was just right--clear and strong without being deafening. I felt surrounded by music, not battered by it.
A day that started off with my feeling weary, draggy, and just wanting to stay in my house and read a book, ended with off-the-scale enjoyment. Music is such a gift. It is no wonder that the Scriptures describe the presence of God as being filled with music.