There is nothing like the acclaim of a crowd. It is a good thing to have the praise of a teacher or a mentor. It is a special thing to earn the regard of a parent. It is a gift to be applauded by a close friend or a spouse.
But the praise of a crowd is different. I grew up doing my share of singing and public speaking on little stages. But I don’t remember feeling that magical connection between me and an audience until I started fooling around with an electric guitar. I was never all that good at it, but I worked hard at soloing, and when I hit a good one--I can still remember the song, it was that old folk song “Hey Joe” that Jimi Hendrix covered--the reaction of the crowd was, well, electric. In my little band there was me, a bassist, a pianist, and a drummer. We told jokes at each other’s expense. How can you tell that a stage is level? Because the drool comes out of both sides of the drummer’s mouth. How does a guitar player change a lightbulb? He holds the bulb and waits for the world to revolve around him.
Sisters and brothers, grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
A couple of weeks ago in Italy, and then last week in New York City, an alarming detail emerged in stories of the coronavirus crisis: hospitals were asking for permission to create makeshift morgues. There were too many deaths to process in the normal ways. There were too many bodies to store in the normal place. Italy had to suspend some rules about handling the dead, including the right of the survivors to have the deceased person buried instead of cremated. There were too many.
God's Work. Our hands.