Posts Tagged ‘Surprise blessings’

“Oh, Lord, please don’t put me at a table where everyone else knows each other,I prayed while putting on earrings. “It’s bad enough that Steve can’t go.”

I was getting ready to attend a dinner theater performance of I’ll Be Home for Christmas*, being held at a nearby church.  Had the evening been a date with my husband as originally planned, it wouldn’t have mattered where we sat. But Steve was in bed with a virus, leaving me to attend alone.

I couldn’t use Steve’s illness as an excuse to stay home.  Our daughter was one of the dancers. I had to be there; I wanted to be there.

God answered my prayer. No one knew each other at my assigned table, and we spent a delightful hour becoming acquainted—no conversation-monopolizers or negative Nellies in the group.


However, I couldn’t help notice that several tall people were seated between the stage and me. I was going to be rocking back and forth a lot to keep up with the performance. (You short people know what I’m talking about!)

A couple at the table, Larry and Susan, knew one of the teachers from the school where I taught.

“In fact,” Susan added, “She’s here tonight, too–I saw her come in. I think she’s at a table up front.”

During the after-dinner/before-performance break, I wove my way up front to greet Diane. Imagine my surprise when she said,

“We’ve got an extra seat here. Why don’t you come sit with us?”

I scurried back to my original table, expressed my pleasure in meeting everyone, and explained where I was moving and why.

Later, when Heather and the other dancers performed, she was right in front of me much of the time—with no obstructions. Thank you, Lord, for blessings not even asked for, I whispered.

The entire production was over-the-top wonderful, with an engaging script, a well-directed and thoroughly rehearsed cast, and a delightful score. In addition, everyone on stage seemed to be having as much fun as the audience.


But I could tell hours of time had been expended to coordinate the various elements: costumes, set design, actors, dancers, singers, lighting, sound etc. The script also required impeccable timing for certain scenes. No doubt they had practiced again and again to get it just right.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to work on such a musical at our church, I mused. But no way that’s going to happen.

Our music ministry was in need of a new director; the interim (though trying valiantly) was barely keeping us going. The choir had dwindled by half. We weren’t even doing a cantata that year.

But several weeks later, a dynamic director named Dixie accepted the vacant position, and attendance immediately improved.  A few weeks after that she announced we would perform a musical for Easter.

Oh, no, I thought. We’re not ready!

But it turned out we were.   It took a few Saturday rehearsals and longer choir practices on Wednesday nights, but I don’t remember anyone complaining.   The extra hours developed stronger camaraderie among us, renewed our confidence, and bolstered our faith.  Dixie showed us that all things are possible with God—even Easter musicals memorized in six weeks!

Several years later in August, Dixie announced the musical we’d perform for Christmas. And guess what script she pulled out? Yup. I’ll Be Home for Christmas*.


The Lord does indeed fulfill the desires of those who fear him (Psalm 145:17)– desires beyond probability, beyond hope, beyond what we ask for.

*I’ll Be Home for Christmas, by Deborah Craig-Claar and Mark Hayes, Lillenas, 1994.

Photo credits:  www.jointhedinnerparty.com; http://www.nph.com; http://www.christianbooks.com.

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