Saturday, July 6, 2013

For the Beauty of the Earth :: A Busking Moment

I was busking away on a vibrantly, refreshing sunny day in L'viv when I started to run out of songs to play. My case was only partially full of crinkled hryvnias (say greeve-nah) each worth around twelve American cents.

I mentally flicked through my iPod, trying to come up with a song, when I thought of The Living Room Sessions by Chris Rice. I've listened to this album many a night since 2006 - well over 1,000 times. On this album, Chris Rice plays out some of my favourite hymns on the piano - no words. It almost never fails to put me to sleep.

I started on, "For the beauty of the earth..." on the violin that I've been given for my time in Ukraine. I felt a breeze. I breathed. I felt calm.

For the beauty of the earth,
for the beauty of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our grateful hymn of praise.
For the beauty of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale, and tree and flower,
sun and moon, and stars of light, Lord of all…
For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth, and friends above,
Pleasures pure and undefiled, Lord of all…
For each perfect gift of thine
to our race so freely given,
graces human and divine,
flowers of earth and buds of heaven, Lord of all…
For thy Church which evermore
lifteth holy hands above,
offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love, Lord of all…

As I was playing, a group of a-few-year-older-than-my-Mom aged women came and gathered around and started to sing in perfect English. We played together.

It was a Sunday morning.

I felt peaceful. I felt joyful.

The three or four women were from the Pacific Northwest, like me! They were from Bellingham (a few hour drive from my hometown) and Vancouver (across the water from the island I occupied for a bit in British Columbia, Bowen Island).

Here were dear, sweet West-coasters with me in L'viv! I hadn't seen anyone from my corner of the globe in a while - and oh how I missed them. Afterwards, we talked for a bit and they prayed for me.

So grateful.

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