Humble Passing of the Peace

I don’t often talk a great deal about my church, but this post was inspired by an action that was preformed at church.  This summer has been pretty busy on the weekends, so our absentee count at church has reached an ALL-TIME record since we started attending Hillhurst.  It’s interesting how aspects about church slip your mind until you go again.  About a quarter way into the service, we have  a section that is called “Passing of the Peace” This is an opportunity to greet others that you may or may not know that sit around you that morning.  The morning bulletin even reads “feel free to shake hands or hug, or (due to health reasons) say “Namaste” which means “May the spirit in me greet the spirit in you”.

Right before the service started, I noticed a woman sitting behind us reading the Voices hymnal.  I then saw the church administrator, Marsha, come over and grab a visitor card from the same woman.  I then said to her “are you memorizing the songs already”.  She said with a laugh “No, I am actually just getting looking at the songs” and then we started to just casually talk about how long we had been at the church.  Like us, she is not only fairly new to the church, but also moved to Calgary in January.  As the passing of the peace segment at church came around we passed the peace to our new acquaintance sitting behind us as well as with the other regulars at church.  It was lovely and always makes a person smile.

While chatting up with the friendly woman, Andrea, behind us, I learned she is a music therapist, which is what prompted her move to Calgary.  The service went on and I remember thinking as we started a new song “wow, this woman has a great voice”.  I found a peace with just listening to her sing rather than sing myself. Clearly the sound of her voice is a heck of a lot better than mine.  Similar to Catholic church, we stood up and sat down, stood up and sat down, each standing series encompassing a new tune, so I was fortunate to hear this great  voice behind me for sometime, also getting a workout.  Just kidding!

Near the end of the service, I turned to Clorinda and said “hey maybe we should invite her over to join us at Mardi Gras, I mean we are also new here and it certainly feels good when someone invites you to join” Clorinda agreed. Immediately after the service was over I invited Andrea over to our house to join a group of us that was planning to visit Mardi Gras that afternoon.  Although Andrea had some concrete plans finishing a graduate thesis, she was still grateful for the request, but kindly declined so she could focus on her commitment. I passed on one of my personal training business cards and said “maybe some other time.” She smiled, we said our farewells,and were off to pick up Jack at Kid Space.

Later that day, I received a “friend request” on the greatest social media network on the planet: Facebook.  The very next day, I took a moment to read about my new friend and was amazed at her accomplishments… Not only is this woman an incredible music therapist, but she is also a talented and incredible singer/song writer.  I followed a link to her myspace page and was listening to some beautiful songs she was singing.  Wow, what a gal.  I was in Ah of her music.  Honestly it was beautiful.  You can even take a listen yourself by following this link:

Moral of the story: Well here you have a woman sitting alone at church, two women in casual clothing (we rode our bikes that day) with their excited 5-year-old plot themselves right in front of her view-point towards the stage.  We have some small talk and ask about what one another does for a living.  She casually gives her response and although it may have not seemed so humble then, I have now learned that it was indeed humble.

Make it Count by being humble and let others discover you in their own way.

Ashley Stevenson