The October sun, which is filtering through the golden leaves outside, streams in through the stained glass rose window, which means the morning started off, base line, as staggeringly beautiful.
Next, the high school kids sang "He Never Failed Me Now," a gospel, spiritual, jazz piece that had the whole congregation, on it's feet, clapping and shouting, which would not be the only time that happened this morning.
Tim. Of Tim and Julie. I'll never have a son, but if I could choose. . . He has a profound heart, acts as a God-Father to two little girls who really, really need him. Is the best husband to Julie. Is a big goof, who has no idea that people just follow him around. Like Louetta. Like Larry. Like Stephanie.
Stephanie's dad, and three other men, sang the 23rd Psalm. Grandly.
We were roiling in the old Methodist hymn, Come Thou Font of Every Blessing. I told Tim I didn't know what an Ebenezer was, as in "Here I raise my Ebenezer." "Scrooge," Tim replied. "Sometimes you just have to play along."
Julie was on Tim's other side and we all stood to sing. I was hoping that Tim didn't forget which side Julie was on and pat my bum by mistake. So, I did it. Tim is enough taller than me that when I put my arm around his back, his bum got a little pat. Yow.
Sometimes, I swear, God gets a good laugh in church.
Sometimes you just have to play along.
Then Yve Evans sang to us. She was in Sun Valley last week for the Jazz Festival. She has a Doctorate in music. And she had us on our feet too. Our little too-quiet Methodist selves were having the time of our lives. In the next service, she'll tell us that she was diagnosed with a terrible lymphoma, from the base of her throat to the top of her pelvis. Full of as much cancer as you can imagine. From one "tit to the other." Her words. She went from walking into the doctor's office to Intensive Care in the space of a couple of hours.
Now, she's cancer free. Six years out. She had me crying like a month-old baby with that one.
Yve promised that she would be unfiltered tonight. Pastor Duane said he didn't realize that she wasn't already.
So, if you want to understand joy, you'll have to come and see a cancer-free jazz angel sing her heart out and tell a hundred jokes. Then you'll sorta understand.
As far as I could see, only two old guys slept through it.