Friday, December 23, 2011

God's Intervention

Dec 23 God’s Intervention

Have you seen the YouTube video …when dancers or singers step out of a crowd and perform in the park or a train station or on the street? I am captivated by this phenom, happening world-wide and described by a performance group at Central Station in Stockholm as, “A short fun event to create presence in the moment and with other people, having fun, creating happiness.” I’ve seen Handel’s Halleluiah Chorus and 1950’s dancing, with sometimes hundreds of performers who simply show up for the fun of it!

It’s a planned intervention. Folks are coming and going. Minding their own business in a world worried about wages, wondering about tomorrow, about this possibility and the latest tragedy. Then, out of nowhere, comes music and some in the crowd begin to dance and sing and draw together in routines until it’s obvious, this is a PLAN! Dancing in Union Station or at the Denver airport or on the street, STOPS people in their tracks, whisks them away, lifts them out of their troubles for a few minutes. It’s a power break that puts a spring in their step. Reactions vary from wide-eyed wonder to tapping feet and swaying bodies! People turn to strangers and point and comment as they take pictures.

Maybe I find this so enchanting because it takes me back to the Christmas I wanted my children to experience giving without getting. I took my 5,6, 9 and 11 year old Suzuki violinists, dressed in their Christmas best, to play for a few shut-ins. We headed for Anita Kubant’s upstairs apartment, in a U shaped building with an upstairs deck and railing and a courtyard below. I’d arranged with Anita’s caregiver to open her door so we could surprise her. My last minute reminder to the kids that true giving from a loving heart expects nothing in return, seemed to sink in as we approached the building.

The door opened to a small space. No problem, we stood outside and played a 10-minute repertoire. The three girls watched my conducting, but my son, Brooks, while on the correct notes, was looking at a moving object I caught out of the corner of my eye. Whenever he would look back at me, the fluttering would resume and I’d lose him again! After recital bows, I turned to face a smiling audience of residents lining the balcony. A man waving paper money had caught Brooks’ attention!

On all of our minds was the mantra, “something for nothing!” As the children walked past the clapping adults, I heard the moneyman’s plaintiff, “Please, I WANT you to have this. You’ve brought us such a wonderful Christmas tonight!” I quickly realized that to ignore his heartfelt response could be hurtful. I thanked him and said it would go to the Christ-child. Brooks was all eyes!

With instruments tucked back in their cases, we drove to the next “something for nothing” opportunity. We decided to give 90% of the man’s money to the children’s Christmas Eve service and spend 10% on the instrumentalists. It wasn’t the lesson I’d planned, but then some of life’s best lessons aren’t!

The next performance that evening was at the house of Augusta, an elderly woman who was literally “into” the bells and whistles of Christmas. She had more blinking lights in her windows and front room than you could take in without doing brain damage! And what didn’t blink, whistled, sang or popped out of a box or nest. She was delighted to show off her collection. The kids were wide-eyed over it, except for the youngest who jumped every time a new gadget rolled across the floor or ceiling. This performance lasted only 5 minutes and we were on our way, but not before Augusta disappeared and reappeared with a wrapped box. Same thing…we HAD to take it or she would have melted or maybe it would have been lights out, I’m not sure. We buckled up and opened a re-gifted box of chocolates. And most of them were still in there!

What SWEET things happen when you give something and expect nothing!
My planned intervention with little ones playing violins wasn’t of the same caliber as the YouTube variety around the world, but it made a lovely difference in people’s lives, for a few moments anyway.

Let’s consider another kind of intervention. A HEAVENLY one. What if angels appeared in Union Station or the Mall singing and then said, “Don’t Be Afraid. We bring you Good News of great JOY that will be for all the people. In the City of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2: 10,11 Would people stop in their tracks, take pictures? Would smiles replace frowns? Would it be as described at the Stockholm surprise dance in the station…an event to create a presence, to create happiness?

Well, actually, a planned intervention 2,000 years ago DID bring an overwhelming response to the Presence of the Babe of Bethlehem Who came to save us from our sin. The angels didn’t perform in a mall or a train station or airport. They lit up the night sky and sang to shepherds who stopped in their tracks. They didn’t get out their cell phones and take pictures and call home. But the Bible tells us they headed to the manger to see this Baby Who was the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. WHAT an intervention! Has it happened to you? Has God’s Great Gift of Christmas stopped you in your tracks yet? If so, I rejoice with you as we celebrate Christmas. Oh, come let us adore Him! If not, His intervention is a gift, a present. It’s an invitation to receive Him. There’s no time like the present! Merry Christmas!

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