|Admit it. This scares you . . .|
I'm sitting, waiting for my Sunday services to start.
I'm in a peaceful, wonderful place.
Quiet hymns are playing.
People are about me, speaking in hushed, reverent tones.
My mind is centred on things spiritual.
Okay, everyone else around me is probably having spiritual thoughts.
I'm remembering my most embarrassing moment in church.
Does that say something about me?
Moving on . . .
In our church, the speakers every week are chosen from the congregation itself.
Usually in threes.
There is a brief first talk.
A longer second one.
Followed by an intermediate hymn.
I should explain here, that this hymn is usually something instrumental, played by a member of the congregation.
Or an actual song, sung by said congregation while standing.
In case anyone is getting sleepy.
Thus refreshed, everyone is ready to listen to a third, and final, speaker.
My most embarrassing church moment concerns the intermediate hymn.
And my one chance to shine.
Which I flubbed.
Let me tell you about it . . .
In an effort to include everyone, the men who organize the Sunday services are always alert for hidden talents.
I should probably point out that some of them are hidden for a reason.
I had started taking piano lessons.
A smidgin of information my mother proudly conveyed to said men within a few weeks of my first sitting down at a piano.
And which immediately resulted in an issued invitation to provide the spiritually uplifting intermediate interlude for the next Sunday services.
I can sum up my feelings in one word.
But I had been asked.
I would do my eight-year-old best.
I practised hard all week.
I only had one song that would be suitable and I needed to have it perfect.
My family probably got sick of hearing it played over.
But they kept quiet about it.
As Sundays do.
Disdaining my little music book, I walked up to the piano.
Rubbing suddenly moist fingers on my dress.
I took my seat and raised my hands in the approved 'piano-playing' manner.
I took a deep breath and struck the first note.
Then I let out my breath and played the next.
And the next.
This was going to go all right.
Confidently, I played the fourth note.
Then my mind blanked.
I couldn't remember the rest.
Then I started again.
Surely, my fingers would remember it this time.
But they failed me.
I got stuck on the same note.
I tried a third time.
And met the same fate.
I put my hands in my lap. Maybe the congregation would think that the first four notes of the piece were all there were.
Completely crushed, I stood up and walked back to my seat.
The congregation, consisting mostly of young families were, for the first time ever, silent.
I felt their sympathetic eyes on me as I made my way.
And while I sat with head bowed through the rest of the service.
Pretty much unscathed.
I even played again.
But never without remembering that first time.
What is it about the power of an embarrassing moment that makes you remember it . . . forever?
Do you have one?