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Lenten Meditation: Thank you, Emily

Emily welcomed me as I joined the choir at Christ Episcopal Church thirty years ago. She is a quiet person with a beautiful, soft singing voice and big heart. She probably doesn’t realize what an important role she has played in my life and in the lives of so many of us at Christ Church.

Emily and I have sung together for 30 years as choir members, and also “auctioned” ourselves off in small singing groups to raise money for the church. In the small groups, we had lots of rehearsals and enjoyed getting to know each other much better. Emily was always willing to be adventurous in music, and helped us learn Hawaiian songs for a luau at Chuck and Paula's (with choreography) and ABBA music for one of Steve and Linda’s dinner parties. And as we ventured into gospel, she learned the harmonies which made the music so much richer.

In the choir, she has always been one of the strong altos that new members like to sit next to so they can learn their part faster. On nights when she was absent, I’ve seen other altos look disappointed that they didn’t have her help there.

Many years ago, Emily and I paired up for a church auction and donated our services to clean up Christmas decorations which we figured was a chore people would be willing to pay others to do for them. We got an evening out when our kids were small and enjoyed cleaning up at someone else’s house rather than our own. And it’s always fun to see the decoration ideas of other families.

Emily has coordinated or provided meals for families at Christ Church who have had a baby or who are suffering an illness or loss. She’s done this work quietly and happily for nearly as long as she has sung in the choir. I bet the people who have benefited from her gifts of food and emotional support number in the thousands. And I bet many don’t know she was the gift giver.

Emily began making her own cards over 20 years ago and many of us have purchased her cards or given them as gifts. She made little lights in beautiful paper lanterns for the choir members and reminded us that we should have more light in our lives during the dark times. She touches our lives through her art and her beauty. And she brings light to us.

We have quietly supported each other with prayers, songs, conversations, and hugs through all the illnesses and losses of parents, struggles with life’s challenges and church interim phases, and feel the love of our friendship strengthen us. There are many at Christ Episcopal Church who also provide this type of support for others, and for me. Today I honor and thank Emily for the light she brings in my life. She brings Christ among us.

~J. D.


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