Monday, March 14, 2005

Too Many Marshmallows

Maybe it was the handfuls of marshmallows that I felt compelled to stuff in my mouth this morning. Maybe it's that I only had good sleep until about 4:00 a.m. Maybe it's the swirling emotions in my chest and nasal cavities. Maybe it's cause I don't feel like a missionary.

I remember walking down the aisle at school chapel when I was twelve. I told God after a long sermon, probably from a man living in Mali or over the Great Commission passage, that I would be a missionary. In my mind, this meant that I could expect to get a letter from Him in the next couple days stating the exact head-hunting tribe in Africa that He had assigned me to. The letter never came. In fact, it still hasn't come.

How could living in a western culture be missionary work? How could learning a language I have coveted since elementary school be a valid spiritual assignment? How could God be asking me to do what I love to do in a place that I would love to do it in?

Before my freshman year of college, my piano professor, David Allen Wehr, called me to say hello and tell me what pieces he would like me to work on before classes started. I remember him calling me Stephanie and telling me to prepare Copland's The Cat and the Mouse and some others for the fall. I showed up scared out of my mind with the assigned music for my first college lesson. "Oh, I gave Stephanie that piece. You're working on this one," he explained.

I'm not altogether convinced that God hasn't assigned me the wrong piece. There's someone named Gertrude or Brigitta out there holding my pygmies letter, and I'm holding my breath in hopes that they won't find me.

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