Quiet Emotion

Sometimes, it’s the little moments that are so surprising and so meaningful.

Like today.

It started as a typical Sunday. We engaged in the usual morning routine all in preparation to get out the door and headed to church. A short drive later, we pulled into a parking lot more empty than full. The church sanctuary was warm and a bit humid, hinting at the summer to come. Like most Sundays, I set up the PowerPoint presentation, today noting that much of the church congregation was away, traveling this holiday weekend. The service was a bit shorter than usual, but still fairly typical.

After the benediction, I started my usual process of closing the PowerPoint presentation and shutting down the computer. Today, though, I stopped mid-stream.

And I just listened.

The organist had started to play “America the Beautiful.” Softly, gently, I could hear the words. It started as no more than a whisper. Congregants stopped and turned toward the music. My ears strained to hear the song. My voice quietly joined the others in a melodic thank-you for all those who have sacrificed their lives for the freedom we enjoy.

A beautiful, emotional moment for a Memorial Day weekend.

What stirs our patriotism, our emotions, our gratitude this holiday weekend? The brass band playing a Sousa march? The crack of a 21-gun salute?

Maybe, just maybe, it’s the quiet flutter of a flag in a gentle breeze. Perhaps it’s the silent salute of the veteran, just a hint of a tear in the corner of his eye.

Or maybe it is the soft whisper of “America the Beautiful” drifting through the morning air.

Can you hear it?

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  1. Very nice piece. We were treated to “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” (AKA: The Navy Hymn) after our mass.

  2. springtimesoul

     /  May 30, 2011

    I went to a memorial service Saturday–first time I ever heard “Amazing Grace” played on a banjo. “America the Beautiful” was the closing hymn. It was a beautiful service, honoring the man who died, the country he loved and the God he served.


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