This one is really going to be special.
More details to come.
Two Sundays ago, I returned from San Diego totally pumped to get my online business up and running, and got started that very night. I spent the whole next week immersed in web design, writing content, driving Caroline Bingham clean out of her skull (hey, it's her own fault for being brilliant. Next time sign up to be me, CB) and generally doing six straight days of "DeNae for DeNae and All for DeNae."
So I got to church that next Sunday, and after defeating the organ in mortal combat over the tempo of "Let Us All Press On," I eventually wandered into Relief Society.
(I'm a Mormon, and RS is the women's auxiliary of the church.)
I play the piano in RS, where there is no question who is the alpha in the relationship; that particular keyboard instrument barely puts up a fight.
(It's that $&% organ with its #$%@ foot pedals that keeps trying to vanquish me week after week.)
As I was playing a little background music so the women in the room could prepare spiritually by yakking at full voice about important things like baby barf on microfiber couches, the chorister rushed up to the piano and whispered, "I'm so GLAD you're back!"
She meant it, too.
Let me tell you about this darling girl:
I don't know her. At all. Couldn't tell you her name off the top of my head, although I do think it would come to me eventually, most likely in a text from the RS pres across the room.
I do know that she isn't me, hasn't had my life, doesn't live my life. There are a couple of subtle, visible signs. Nothing major, nothing to question. Just little things that say in their quiet way, "I'm still kinda new to all of this."
And she is totally, pathologically terrified to lead those 25 women in a hymn every week.
So, at her request, I help her.
As I play the introduction, she stands at the front of the room, eyes locked on me. She's not looking at the women. She's not looking at her hymnal. She's watching me.
When it's time to start singing, I nod my head. That's her cue to begin waving her arm in time, not with the beat, but with each individual word. She doesn't have much experience, you see, and she's still so shy about her responsibilities she doesn't think she's smart enough to be taught anything by the professional music conductor sitting at the piano.
So instead, she watches, and waits. And I nod.
That's all I do. I nod...
There were 125 people in that San Diego audience. There will probably be the same in Seattle. Maybe twice that in North Carolina. Around 750 next year in Salt Lake City.
And with all my heart, I pray that I contribute something meaningful to their lives.
But while I was traveling home from California, one sister was looking around the room, wondering where I was, worrying that I wouldn't be there to nod my head and help her get through those three terrifying minutes.
There's making a difference, and then there's making a difference.
It's not about me. It's never, ever, ever about me.
It's good to be reminded of that once in a while.