Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Mezzo Soprano

            Alfred shook his head in wonder. He could hear Mother in the kitchen singing a Franz Schubert song, “Great is Jehovah the Lord, The heav’ns and the earth proclaim His pow’r and His might.” Mother’s mezzo soprano voice was a little hesitant, but the sound of her voice warmed his heart.

            Mother came bustling into Alfred’s study saying, “Do you remember that time we heard Mary Ann McCormick at the Boston Lyric Opera singing the title role of La Cenerentola? I have discovered the most amazing thing. I knew that she has been singing at the Metropolitan Opera now for some years, but what I didn’t know was that she has become a Christian.”

            “I’m telling you Mother,” said Alfred, “We Christians are everywhere. Even though the Super Bowl wasn’t really super I was very interested to hear the Seattle Seahawks quarterback say, ‘I believe that God has given me a right arm and for some reason, even though I'm 5'11", to be able to make the throws and make great decisions on the field.”’

            “I never thought very much about it Alfred,” said Mother, “but it seems to me that there are Christians all around us. You know that our Scottish housekeeper Agnes Findlay used to annoy me when she talked about her Christian faith, but there is no denying that she has had an impact on my life. Sometimes Alfred, I just have to separate style from substance.”

            “And further, Alfred,” said Mother, “one of my very favorite actors, David Suchet, who plays Hercule Poirot in the Agatha Christie mystery series, became a Christian after reading a bible that he found in his hotel room.”

            “Last year, Mother,” answered Alfred, “when I was wrestling with faith I discovered that Norm Miller, the Chairman of Interstate Batteries was a Christian. I found it very encouraging to hear that another business leader had made a decision for Christ.  That helped me not to feel so alone.”

            “Telling others about your Christian faith could be costly,” said Mother. “I was reading about Mary Ann McCormick yesterday. She says that becoming a Christian has limited the kinds of roles she is willing to sing, and that she has even been mocked by others for her decision.”

            “It came home to me last spring. As you may remember, Mother, that one of my suppliers had informed me that a whole load of cashmere sweaters was about to drop off the back of one of his trucks. He asked if I would be interested in a bargain price on those sweaters? Of course, unspoken, was that fact that his insurance would pay for the purloined shipment.  Years ago I wouldn’t have hesitated. After all, business is business. But when I thought things through I realized that a momentous decision was staring me in the face. If I was to become a Christian, I’d have to decide to do things the right way.”

            “Just so, Alfred. Just so,” said Mother. “It may cost a little from time to time, but in the end run it will make one feel better about oneself.”

“I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house” [Psalm 101:2].

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