Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Note That Made the Difference

People often ask me why I write. “Why do you do what you do?” Sometimes it’s thankless. Sometimes the pay stinks. Many times people don’t even know the extent of my work. This following is a story that really happened and I think it explains why it is I continue doing what I do.

“Another gray hair!” I promptly yanked it out and flushed it.

“Are you going to quit now?” My husband had heard my comment.

I couldn’t quit. I had made a commitment and I wasn’t one to bow out after giving my word. I was putting on a play with the children at our church. I had done it a couple of times before and thoroughly enjoyed it. This time, however, I had the most unruly bunch of kids with whom I had ever worked. I spent more of my time trying to establish order in the classroom and sending troublemakers to sit with parents in the sanctuary. I didn’t know if these little actors would be ready to give their performance in one week.

After the dress rehearsal, I decided the kids were going to embarrass themselves and me. I figured it might be a good idea to have one last rehearsal the afternoon before the evening disaster would occur. During that rehearsal, my husband was fixing the set. He was shocked at how these kids could behave so badly.

Then the tape that had our music on it was eaten by the electronics. Fortunately, the lady who had recorded the music lived next door to the church. I sent someone to go get her. When she arrived she said, “There’s no problem. When I recorded the music onto the tape, I saved it in the piano, too. It’s still all there.” Thank goodness for computerized instruments!

During the rehearsal, she sat between the two boys who had given me the most trouble. After that, things went a little smoother. I focused my attention to those who were running their lines. During our break between the rehearsal and the performance my piano lady told me, “I have a new respect for what you do. I’m surprised you don’t have gray hair by now.”

If she only knew!

My husband then came to me and told me, “I don’t want you to do this anymore.” At that moment I agreed.

The play went off, but not without a hitch. My main character forgot a lot of his lines. Other than that, I guess it wasn’t too bad. I did plan on keeping my word to my husband. The plays had become a chore, not a joy.

However, a couple weeks later, I received a letter in the mail from one of the girls that had been in the play. Her note read,

“Dear Mrs. O’Neil,

This is Ravin. I am working on a project for church and it says that I need to thank the person who told me about Christ. It was you when you did the play. I learned a lot about Noah and the Bible. Thank you for telling me so I can have eternal life.

Love, Ravin

P.S. I’m getting baptized soon!”

That note reaffirmed why I do what I do. God knew I needed some encouragement and He sent it at the right time.

I went back on my word to my husband and did another play the following year. I knew I needed to keep on keeping on in the work of the Lord. He will give you the strength you need to get through each and every day of your ministry.

Kids are not exclusive to sending me notes. There have been several times I received a card in the mail, an email, and even several phone calls from complete strangers who have read my writing and were touched in one way or another by it. This encouragement comes always when I am in most need of it, reminding me that is why I do what I do.

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