It was on her face, that brave little mother bent over the keyboard just earlier today. Beauty, I saw there, and peace resting on her visage.
Son number two and I had gotten up early this morning to make the trek over to Fairfield High School for the annual ISSMA music contest. For the first time, one of the Schrock boys had elected to sing a solo (in my opinion, a great mark of bravery), and Mother was going along, both as a chauffeur and as the friendly, encouraging face in the audience. Oh, and the prayer warrior (I said a prayer over him as we drove together in the grey of the morning).
Arriving early, he trotted off to warm up with the director and work out his pre-performance jitters before we moved into the room where he was to sing. We sat down to wait and to listen to four younger students who were scheduled just ahead of him.
Three of them were from our own Northwood Middle School. One after another, they moved up front with varying levels of nervous energy, mustered up their courage, and sang for the audience and the judge.
It was the accompanist that drew my eyes. I knew her, this mainstay of the music department, from having three sons involved in music at the school. It was her son, our hometown soldier, who was killed in Afghanistan 2-1/2 years ago, only days before we celebrated Independence Day. How could I forget the hush that fell over Main Street as his hearse passed by? We waved flags, standing in silence, soberly reminded of the terrible price of freedom.
Her countenance spoke peace as she played for those boys. Tears welled up, and I swallowed a lump as I thought of the pain she carried – and always would this side of eternity. Her smile was a blessing, witnessing without words to an inner life and a joy that even the greatest loss could not take away.
I saw eternity today – hope transcendent, peace in sorrow, and joy in the promise of forever after. And it was beautiful.