I was asked two weeks ago to play the piano and sing at church last night (1-08-06). I said ok, which is what I usually say when somebody asks me this question. Anybody that knows me at all knows that I am not high on myself and anything that I have or can do is because God gave it to me or let me do it. I've never been a fan of my own singing, yet I was music/song leader at our old church for almost two years. It was a God thing and I look back on those Sunday song services as the best time of my life. I have noticed since I was diagnosed with cardiomyopoathy that I don't have the lung power I once had. On a good day I can almost sing as well as I once did but those days are very few. so when I pick a song to play and sing by myself I have to be very careful to pick the right song.
Yesterday I practiced the song I was going to sing quite a few times and pronounced it "READY." Sometime after that a 3 hour nap TOOK me. I woke up dazed and confused about quite a few things but knew I had to get to church early to do a sound check etc. I attached the ear/mic clip to my ear and belt and began to walk around the church to try to wake up. The service started and everything went well. I walked up to the piano after our offering time and THOUGHT I turned the ON switch on the cordless mic unit. I sat down at the piano and noticed the yellow glare from the light above which ususually gives my head an extra tint of shine was bothering my eyes and I could not read the words or key changes very well, but like a good soldier I carried on. I had picked out an old hymn to sing just a few words of and then segue into a newer song.
It is taking all the concentration that I have just to get this started and I begin to softly play a few intro chords.
Suddenly I hear in a loud muffled/whisper type sound,"YOUR MIKE IS NOT ON!!!".
I honestly didn't know what to make of it. I was visibly startled and stopped playing. I looked down, up, sideways and then I looked at the congregation with a questioning glance. I seriously considered my sanity for a few moments because I realized that nobody else had heard that voice.
Then a spattering of applause from the congregation. Somebody says, "Yeah! that was good!"
So I say, "Amen. I wrote that!"
Now everybody is laughing and I get a chance to get my bearings and look back to the guys in the sound booth who have been waving their arms (that's six arms waving that I didn't see) frantically to get my attention. I look down and turn the mic unit on and I wish I could say that I played and sang the best I ever have, but that is not the truth.
I stank it up. I played the wrong chords and sang the wrong words and left out words and generally proceeded to play out the longest 4 minutes of my life. Now comes the hard part.
The hardest part is not actually stankin' it up for a front to back filled church. I am playing this to God, for God .
The hard part is standing up from the piano and walking back to my seat and not actually tripping or falling or passing out from sweating like an Oklahoma banshee under that wicked yellow light with around 400 folks looking at me, some smiling and some not.
I learned a long time ago that we can't make everybody happy and in order to play and sing in church you'd better be doing it for the right reasons.
ps. The sound booth guys had spoken to me through a monitor that stands right next to the piano. I called the pastor later at his home and explained to him what happened and that I wasn't really crazy and he seemed to believe me. But the big question is, "Do you ?"