Every Friday I start and finish work half an hour earlier than usual. With precision timing, this allows me to catch the bus into town. I walk through the Mall, up the hill (my town really only has one hill, but it’s steep) and to the Cathedral which sits on top of the hill, looking out across the city and the river. I walk under the organ loft and through a door marked (annoyingly) “Choristers Vestry”. I slip into the room beyond with the incredulous relief of a caught fish returned to the cool, shadowy waters of its pool. In the Choristers’ Vestry I am safe. I am at home. For the next hour and a half, I join fellow singers and friends. We work hard – I often think that I work harder in that time than I do for the whole rest of my week – and we make music.
It is during this time that I realise afresh just how blessed I am. My weekly routine includes and revolves around beautiful music, not only listening to it but helping to make it, being swept up in it, working with talented and inspiring people to bring it into being. How many people get to say that?
It’s not just that, though. These people with whom I spend time are friends in the truest sense. They have become family. They have shown me love and caring, and allowed me to show them love and caring. They have been with me in darkness and remained with me as I am journeying into light. They have been God to me at times when God has seemed far off. They have been safety to me at times when I have had none in my home town and in my home. Now they are gracious enough to share my healing with me.
And then on Sunday we get to sing amazing music together. How could I be more richly blessed?