Last week I sat in the middle of the auditorium while the first Easter rehearsal was getting underway. It was a music run-through. In some ways it was just a following-through kind of rehearsal, beginning to do all the things they've been planning for the last couple months. No performance, really. Just practice. The vocalists and band were all situated on the stage to face one another, ignoring the rest of the room, focused on each other and the work ahead. Underneath work-lights, and sometimes even in the dark, they tuned and tested and chatted, readying themselves to cement harmonies and plan transitions.
In some ways, it was the farthest cry from the celebration it will become in just a few days.
But then they started the first song, and I started getting emotional. In the midst of the first verse of the very first song I was reminded of how good it is to do this work. I thought, “There’s the gold.”
I once walked into a working mine, into the dark of the cave and the cold. I watched as the men loaded onto an elevator, the lights affixed to their helmets shining back at me. I watched as the elevator descended into the earth and swallowed them whole.
Making things feels like that sometimes because the things we’re most called to make means excavating our souls. With a sense of purpose we descend and begin to dig, and it often feels like all we have is a hard hat affixed with a light that’s begun to dim and flicker. We dig in the dark until we find what we came for. Then begins the even harder work of bringing it back to the surface, and once that’s done whatever we’ve found still needs to be fired and refined and finally made to shine.
Making things is hard work.
But along the way we catch these glimmers, these flashes of light, these flickers that remind us why we started digging to begin with. When we’ve been digging in the dark for awhile those flashes sometimes seem even brighter.
Or maybe we’re seeing them for what they really are.
As I sat in that bare-bones rehearsal and the first song began to swell, I caught a glimmer of what will come to be. I felt for a moment just a little bit of what God is going to do. Every time that happens I am reminded again that any amount of digging is worth it.