Thursday, June 11, 2009

"Vocalist" - from Apples & Chalkdust (1998)

Note: I wrote this as a remembrance of my choral director in high school - Mr. James Vines - who encouraged me to be the best I could be, but also enabled me to do so. This story is not an actual occurrence, but a reflection of the dedication he gave to his students.

"Blessed are they who heal us of self-despisings. Of all services which can be done to man, I know of none more precious."
- William Hale White

Beth was considered the top vocalist in the choir.

The year had been hectic, and she didn't put her normal preparation into a difficult piece she was to perform for a major competition. Her life as a senior was incredibly busy, and she just didn't devote the time she needed to practice.

When her time came to perform, she forgot some of the words and didn't receive her usual high rating.

Beth felt awful.

Beth's choir director offered words of consolation on the bus on their way home. Those words only seemed to intensify the guilt she felt. She not only let herself down, but felt she had let her school down.

After the others got off the bus, Beth burst into tears. She sobbed with her head down, knowing she had done her best. She felt a hand on her back and looked up to see her director with big tears in his eyes, too.

His tears brought healing to Beth's heart.

She knew by his words that he believed she could do better next time, but she knew by his heartfelt concern that he would be there to help her.

More than any other thing, your heartfelt and compassionate acts toward your students will lift defeated hearts.

Reveal your heart, and heal a soul.