Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The Presbyterian Nun
While attending a small, rural church for a couple years, there was this one woman whom we dubbed The Presbyterian Nun. Viola was in her mid-90's, had never married, and lived her life for her church. She taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and was also the weekly organist.
Once, in the middle of the sermon, a single note began from the organ. The tone hung in the air for seconds, then a minute, then longer. The pastor stumbled over his words. Everyone looked towards Viola sitting motionless at the organ. I was not the only one present who thought Viola had died at the organ, doing her church thing. Oh, what a nice way and place to die, I thought.
Then, slowly, Viola moved. Everyone in the congregation sucked in a startle-breath. The preacher kept preaching, but glanced now and then to the organist. That's where everyone else was looking, anyway.
Viola looked up (5 seconds), looked to her right (another 5 seconds), looked down to the organ (yep, another 5), then lifted her hand from the keyboard as the musical note suddenly stopped.
Our Presbyterian Nun lived to play for many more worship services.