Every year, we send out a postcard to remind singers about our kick-off rehearsal, which we call "Rally." In the age of digital-everything, it's sometimes nice to get real mail! This year, getting those little cards out proved to be a time-consuming challenge. I thought it would be faster to use a local printer (verus the online company that I typically use). Boy, was I wrong! Printer #1 ended up with a broken copier. Printer #2 lost our order in their email system. Printer #3 had staff who couldn't figure out how to get the cards to actually print.
In desperation, I put in a call to Bonnie Dean, who happens to be our church secretary, a longtime VIP Mom, a dear friend -- and a wizard with our church photocopier. "Can you help me?" I pleaded. And Bonnie, who is a generous soul, told me "Of course." Within a few hours, the cards had been printed. Kim Hynes had volunteered to help with stamps and labels (because she is awesome!) but I was hopeful that I could get this task done solo. So there I was - sitting in the waiting room at a dentist's office, applying stamps. A person noticed me...
Stranger: What are you doing?
Me (pause): I'm prepping these postcards to go in the mail. They're for the singers in a youth choir I direct called Voices In Praise.
Stranger: I've heard of them! I really want my niece to sing in that group but they live way down in St. Leonard.
Me: Yes, that would be quite a drive. I hope she can find a choir closer to her to sing in.
What are you doing? It was such a simple question and I spoke an equally-simple answer. But it wasn't the whole answer. As I sat there with my pile of cards and frustration at the printing process, I thought:
I am inviting people.
I am reconnecting with people that I hold so dear.
I am overcoming broken equipment and failed communication and human limitations because I love the kids in my choir.
Isn't that what God does for all of us? His invitaton, his desire to reconnect with us (no matter where we are in life) and his power to overcome... In the pressure to get those cards out, I had momentarily forgotten that the act of reaching out is a holy act. It's what we're called to do time and time again. Even when there are obstacles in our way.
At its heart, VIP is a relational ministry. People are invited in. Youth are led to connect with one another, with God, and with his people. And every single one of those singers overcomes SOMETHING to be there. May it always be so.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!