Making a Silent Difference
An Open Heart Journal
May 15, 2009
Someone is Watching - and Listening
This week I received an email from a stranger. And suddenly that stranger became a friend. It seems that a few years ago someone gave this stranger a box of CDs and tapes to use to distribute to people hurting, needing encouragement and needing to know the love of the Father. Hiding in the box were three tapes of Scriptures songs which I recorded in 1994-95. The tapes were given away at my church, at Women's Aglow meetings, churches and even hospitals. I never sold them and any contributions went right back into purchasing more tapes, cases, and the printing of the labels and lyric sheets. There were many nights my son and I sat in the front room cutting, folding, labeling and duplicating the four different tapes so I would always have plenty to give away. I estimate, from the number of blank tapes I went through, that between 1994 and 2003 over 1000 of each tape was given away. Frankly, I had no idea if even one was still being listened to - until Sunday.
I emailed my "stranger" back and explained that I hadn't recorded any more music since 1995 even though there was one more tape I have wanted to record but never had the opportunity. I then explained "where I've been" since September 2008 and the physical challenges I have been facing.
She emailed me back immediately overjoyed to have "found" me and asked me to call. That evening I called and listened to this dear lady, who I'd never met, tell how she received my tapes and that she had been listening to them nearly every night for over two years. She then told how she'd spent months trying to find me through my old church, through people listed in the acknowledgements of my lyric sheets and the Internet. She finally found my former husband who passed away in December and through a memorial page on the Internet found my son.
Frankly, I don't think I've ever had anyone actually LOOK for me. But not only had she been looking for me, she had been praying for me - and the most fervently since 2008 and in 2009. I was glad to know she was blessed by my music (not REALLY mine - it was all written by the Spirit) but I was even MORE blessed to know she had been praying for me.
I haven't though much about those tapes this year. My beautiful white guitar still sits in the corner of my bedroom but no longer does it get played for hours a day and the last time I "heard" a new song was over a year ago and it never really came to be sung, played or even finished. Unfortunately my lungs are weak, my fingers sore and stiff and sometimes I barely remember songs I sang hundreds of times during those years.
One night while laying in the hospital listening to my iPod I was surprised to suddenly hear my own voice in my ear and realized that somehow the sequence of music had shifted from the classical playlist to the downloads of my own tapes. I found myself hearing "Fear not, I am with you. Fear not, I am here. Fear not, I am with you and I will always be so be not afraid." I began to weep as the song continued telling me the very thing I needed to hear.
One of my favorite places to sing had always been in hospitals and I spent many days going from room to room singing Words of the Father over people who were sick, frightened and alone. Suddenly I was that person and the Lord secretly changed my iPod to remind me that I wasn't anymore alone than the people I had sung over a decade before.
So here I am, wishing I could do this, go there, see that and music I recorded in 1995 was ministering to someone who I'd never met. I really wasn't even sure how to respond. I am convinced, however, that it isn't so much that my voice (back then) was so beautiful or the melodies so grand but because the lyrics were right out of the Scriptures - the Living Word of God that penetrates our souls and reaches our spirits. All I ever wanted to do was to "psalm" over people - and put them at rest (and usually putting them to sleep as well.) I never wanted to make any money and even though I was often chided for giving the tapes away instead of selling them. I just never felt right about making a profit from something that had been freely given to me.
I do miss being able to play the guitar for hours like I once did and I do miss visiting the sick and hurting and watching a true shalom settle over them as the Word ministers to them. But for now I will try to accept this extended "Sabbatical" I seem to be on. Yes, I do sing, but only here in the privacy of my room - and only after the apartment is empty. But maybe one day I will be able to return to my "psalming" and even sing over the one place I've longed to sing over since recording my first song in 1994 - My Beloved Israel.
But today I know that I secretly made a difference - with a tape given away freely which made its way into a stranger's hands. And that stranger prayed for me - I think that is a GREAT return on my free tape!
I wonder what your "silent" difference will be in someone's life? No doubt you will make one whether positive or negative. And it's never too late to make it positive.
From the Heart,
p.s. I don't have the means to duplicate the tapes but I have transferred the tapes into my computer and can make a CD of each tape if anyone is interested. The only technical error is that it recorded each side of the tape as one long song so there are no breaks between the songs. On the other hand that is exactly how they were recorded so there would be 30 minutes of continued music and me reading Scriptures for each song. Feel free to email me if you would like a copy of: "Everlasting Love," "There is a Sanctuary," "Consider Jesus." or "Father's Heart."
Kathleen Gabrielle: firstname.lastname@example.org