Nothing was going right. The Mulligan Room head waitress had not been informed that I was coming to entertain singers and diners. Hungry people were arriving. The Women’s Golf Association had left the patio tables and chairs in disarray. The meat bees had been informed that we were coming. Anticipating this, I was armed with fly swatters and a can of RAID. A few arriving people muttered.
None of my fellow musicians could join me. They were scattered all the way to Spain. I flipped the on switch to my microphone. Dead. My keyboard came alive. Hoorray! The sun was glaring straight into my face. A resourceful woman found a piece of cardboard and tried to block it out. Didn't work. Five Bakersfield friends ambled in from Down Below. Any thought of cancelling the show evaporated. I invited the growing group to turn to # 4 in my Singalong book. Ol’ Bill Bailey may have left his weeping wife but he’s always good for launching a toe-tapping Singalong. …then “Sweet Georgia Brown” and "Ain't She Sweet?" and a floundering party just might be on its wobbly way.
I’m thinking: These people don’t know each other. This is not my first rodeo. What have I done before to pull together an unconnected crowd? O.K., I’ll invite them to tell about their summer travels. "W., tell us about your trip to Kentucky.” She had had a terrible traveling experience which put her in the hospital for a hernia operation. We need to change the mood here, so I called on Lauraine, my writer/friend who always brings smiles to every gathering. She told us about her upcoming motor home trip to Minot, North Dakota where she and Wayne will rendezvous with Norwegians that gather from around the world. Picture THAT! Hundreds of Scandinavians. Remembering. Connecting. REconnecting. Laughing. Discussing. Probably arguing. Eating. I hope they dance.
G. and R. told about the missionaries they will soon visit in Australia. Ahh, thought I. The word "missionary" might trigger a conversation about the Lord. I called on D., a dear Bakersfield friend, and asked her to say a few words. Her “few words” took us right where I hoped they would.
Some fellow, whose name I do not know stood up and said: “O.K., Jo, you’ve got us talking. What’s your story?” I thought they’d never ask. …so I told them the short version of my long story. …which is all about traveling with Christ.
Tell me the story of Jesus.
Write on my heart, every word.
Tell me the story most precious
Sweetest that ever was heard.