It’s time to look back and reflect on another month with Share Four Somethings!
I had some time off this month, and I have loved the break! I wasn’t able to travel far, but I did get to spend some time with family as well as catching up with a couple of friends, one of whom I hadn’t seen since before the pandemic.
It is amazing to be able to meet with people face-to-face and just to enjoy the little things like travelling to the coast for the day or eating out. And I managed to go ten days without a Zoom meeting, which was a joy in itself!
Basically, I am loving life feeling a lot more normal!
This is not the kind of book I’d normally go for, but the musical theme intrigued me and I’m glad I gave it a go.
The Violinist of Auschwitz tells the beautiful and heartbreaking story of Alma Rose, a celebrated Austrian violinist who is sent to Auschwitz because she is a Jew. She is made conductor of the women’s orchestra and goes to great lengths to protect the women under her care and to ensure their survival.
The book is based on a true story, although elements of it are fictionalised. At points it is hard to read as it doesn’t shy away from the horrors of Auschwitz, but it also points to goodness and hope in the midst of that, through the power of music and through Alma’s courage and sacrificial care for the women in her orchestra.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that in January 2020 I began a ministry in my church called Journey To Heal providing mentoring for people who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. I mentored one person and saw God at work in that, as well as in other ways I’d never have imagined, and then of course COVID disrupted the whole thing, which was definitely one of the things I struggled with the most in the early part of the pandemic.
Sixteen months later, we’re back up and running! This month I have finally begun mentoring someone again, and it’s so exciting to be back doing it. It is hard and it is costly, but it is so worth it. I treasure each one of those conversations, because I can see God at work, bringing healing, and it is such a privilege to be part of that.
Tomorrow is the day when we’re finally allowed to sing in church! It will be so good to be able to raise our voices in worship together after such a long time. I love this quote from Keith and Kristyn Getty’s book “Sing”, which speaks of why singing together is such an important part of worship:
“When we sing, we show the community that reflects our Creator, our triune God. When His Church sings together, voice upon voice like arms linked across a room…we are doing what we were designed to enjoy- using our God-given voices to sing praises together to the One who gave us those voices. It expresses what unites us, and it reminds us of our interdependence.”
Then, on Monday, another exciting milestone – a band rehearsal!
A band rehearsal was one of the last normal things I did before lockdown. It was at the stage where we were beginning to sense that lockdown was coming, but as we packed up, our conductor insisted we would be meeting as normal the following week… Sixteen months later we’re having our next rehearsal.
I’m also looking forward to my first concert performance at the start of August as part of a local gala day. It’s ten minutes long, outdoors, and with a reduced band, but it will be wonderful to play live music for others again!
It’s funny to think that in 2019 these things would have been part of normal life, but now they’re a cause for celebration!
What about you? How has this month been? Feel free to share a reflection or prayer point in the comments.