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Conviction

 Drummer and children bw

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today I had something happen to me that I just felt I needed to write down.  Maybe I am writing this down more for me than for anyone (I have no idea if people even read this blog) …

… and I know this has been a blog about visual art, but I may need to have a moment to make an exception and talk about creativity and following God.  Because something very small and yet very profound happened to me that I do not want to fall outside my consciousness.  God is teaching me, leading me, and I almost would have missed it if I had been able to have my own way.

I started a drum circle at my church, intending to start an intergenerational drum circle.  We have met three times, and up until this week, it was a mix of both adults and children.  About 50/50.  And then this last week, I had a lot of parents drop off their children, using me as a babysitting service. 

Initially I was resentful, thinking that people were misusing me.  I wanted to be a part of an intergenerational music making experience, not a place for people to drop off their little ones.  And then I looked.  I was in a room of mostly 5-8 year-old children who really wanted to be right there in the circle.  They wanted to be a part of this.  They were quiet, attentive, and wanted to play drums.  I realized that my core group, the people who most wanted to make the drum circle a meaningful ministry were not the adults my heart craved to play with … they were little ones. 

I went home initially frustrated.  Then I felt ashamed that I did not appreciate those children for being there.  This has touched my heart more deeply this week than anything I have done in the past few years in volunteering at church.  I was moved by recognizing my own ingratitude and convicted that maybe God’s plan for me was not my plan, but something different and more meaningful than I had hoped to achieve by my plan.  My job is to show up with drums, an open heart, a loose plan and love.  I am recognizing, though I was nearly blind to it, that I  am actually a seed planter in fertile soil that will certainly grow … though it may be many years in coming to fruit.  Or maybe that is another thing I need to recognize – that the fruit may just be a different variety of fruit than the one I thought I was going to harvest.  I have so much to learn to see.

This morning, while dropping off my own girls for children’s church, I was greeted by the smiles of three of the children whom I now recognize from the drum circle.  They each greeted me, and one of them ran up to me to tell me that today was his birthday.  He was 8. 

I could have missed this if I had had my way.

Happy birthday, little man.

I did not set out to minister to children.  I intended to allow kids to participate as an afterthought, a way to get the adults to come if they could bring their kids along with them and have it “be ok.”  Now I am getting a little glimmer of insight that maybe this whole ministry, and my heart, may need to be open to being led in an entirely different direction.

I was playing drums with two friends tonight at a wedding.  We were making up rhythms and having a great time.  A little guy, only 2 years old, the son of a friend came up and wanted to play.  My heart is starting to see things differently now.  I knealt down so he could play on my djembe with me.  He too is a drummer.  I need to be open to being a role model for little ones, not a facilitator only to the adults.

God, help me to sense your guiding.  Light my path.  Guide my feet.  Touch my heart … and my hands.