Chapter 34

Since Harper had to work Friday, she decided to bring all her supplies for the potluck with her and not bother going home. She had the paper goods and the metal cutlery; she also brought fixings to make some chili and cornbread with her crock pot and toaster oven. That way she knew she would have at least something to eat that had vegan ingredients. The shop wasn’t too busy all morning, so she went back regularly to the room to organize chairs and tables and get things ready for when Blaise came to help. By late afternoon, she filled two carafes with hot coffee so that her coffee maker’s meagre supply would not run out. She wasn’t sure if folks would drink more because it was a meal, and she wanted to be sure to have enough. Blaise popped in about four, just in time to bring her a green smoothie. He must have known that she would not have had time for lunch, so she enjoyed that while taking a break.

“It looks like more rain is coming. What’s all this March coming in like a lion jazz? Whew.” He threw his jacket over a chair and plopped down. “Wow, looks like you got everything organized without me. I feel a little guilty.”

“Don’t be; it was fun. It feels good to have a project. Oh, and I brought my guitar. You said you wanted two songs before the Q and A, but you didn’t say which. Any preferences . . . that I know, of course.”

Blaise took a sip of his own berry smoothie while he thought. “Can you play that “King Jesus” song we heard on the radio in the truck last week? I like it a lot, and I think everyone probably knows it, even though we have not done it here.”

“Yes, I know that one. I brought my book of sheet music, and I have the lyrics, so I’ll print them off. For the other one: Are you open to my teaching them one I wrote? I don’t want to be pushy or anything, but I’d like to share it if you think it’s okay.” Harper had started off speaking confidently; then all of a sudden, she became shy. Putting herself out there was a mixed bag. She felt bold singing, most often, but not always confident talking about her original songs nor her voice. She didn’t want it to sound like she was selling herself.

“Oh, I don’t know; I may need to have you audition.” He smiled immediately to assure Harper he was joking. “I’m sure it’s great. What’s it called?”

“I Love the Way You Love.” I mean it’s to the Lord, of course; and immediately Harper fumbled for words, feeling herself blush. Well . . . that’s the working title anyway; I may change it.”

Blaise seemed very comfortable; and if aware of her momentary discomfort, he didn’t let on. “Would you mind playing it for me now? I’d love to hear it.”

Harper pulled out her guitar and proceeded to check her tuning, thankful to have something to do other than look at Blaise. In between G and B, she berated herself for offering to do her own song; and in between A and low E, she chastised herself for not keeping her feelings more in check. When she started to sing, her voice was rather light, and she felt a little nervous. Exposed. But as she continued, the blossoming passion for the Lord expressed in her words met her voice with strength and spirit, and she sang as if no one else was in the room but her and her Savior.

Riding on the wind, my spirit’s soaring like an eagle; I feel
far above the worries that have kept me from my flight.
Hidin’ in Your arms, I feel no ill can overtake me;
I am sheltered from the stormy blast that echoes through the night
When I feel afraid, and when my hope is gone—
I don’t know why I don’t turn sooner to the One who is my help;
why would I choose to be the loser and do it all, do it all by myself?

I love the way You love. No higher place could replace the warmth I feel for You,
I kneel to You in love and praise.
I love the way You love. Your voice so still repeats until I know I have a place
in Your embrace. I love the way You love.

Runnin’ through the backroads of my mind, I can remember all the mountains
and the valleys that have brought me to this place.
Like a child in wonder, I grew stronger with each passing day;
the struggles and the triumphs made the dream I had to chase.
So, when I’m all alone; and when I need Your love—

I don’t know why I don’t turn sooner to the One who is my help;
why would I choose to be the loser and do it all, do it all by myself?

I love the way You love. No higher place could replace the warmth I feel for You,
I kneel to You in love and praise.
I love the way You love. Your voice so still repeats until I know I have a place
in Your embrace.

I love the way You love.
I love the way You love.

Harper finished the song, her eyes still closed, head bowed. The room was still for a long time, it seemed. When Harper finally opened her eyes, Blaise was looking at her, his eyes moist with tears.

“Harper, I love it. I know it’s from your heart, but it’s also from mine; and I think others will relate to it in the same way. You will have given people with no adequate words, the right thing to say to the Lord. And even if they don’t sing along at first, don’t worry; I think their spirits will be singing along even before their mouths get the melody. So, let’s do it        . . . for sure.”

Harper took a deep breath. So much had changed for her in such a short time. It felt good; but sometimes, she felt that she was running to catch up. Oh, Lord, help, she breathed a prayer as she put her guitar back in its case.

About apronheadlilly

wife and mother, musician, composer / poet, teacher, and observer of the world, flawed Christ-follower
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