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Wednesday's Word: St. George Station

I am riding the subway late in the morning. My earbuds are in and I am listening to Mute Math and Sufjan Stevens, thinking about the book I began while waiting for the train.

It is about the concept of story, and the lessons learned by a writer that not only affected how he viewed story-telling, but his very life. Our lives, after all, are no more than stories lived out in reality. We are both author and protagonist, creator and character.

I am mulling over what it means to have an over-arching narrative to my life story, and whether it is important that the things I do connect to one another. Is there a meaningful plot unfolding in my life? Is it possible or even desirable to draw the lines and form a picture from the uncertainty that I live in?

Changing trains at St. George Station, I start down the corridor toward the Yonge-University-Spadina line. My music is not loud in my ears – it never is – and as I approach the corner, I make out the metallic rhythms of a steel drum.

The thought occurs to me that the song in my ears will wait, but I will only have thirty seconds or so to listen to the hammered melody that is slowly growing louder. Popping out my earphones, I catch a three note progression that sounds familiar. Another five notes, and I'm confident that I know this song.

I walk taller, breathe slower; the tension leaves my shoulders. I feel a familiar sensation at the corners of my eyes and blink rapidly.

The joyful rhythm of a single steel drum echoes throughout the long corridor. Only a few other passengers are walking here, and none of them show the slightest recognition or interest in the song that fills the air.

How great Thou art
How great Thou art
Then sings my soul
My Saviour, God to Thee
How great Thou art

Reaching into my purse, I cross over to the musician's side of the hallway. I pause to drop some money in his case, and for a split-second, think I will cancel my appointments, call in to work and stay here all day, watching his mallets flick up and down.

He smiles at me.

"It's a beautiful song,” I say, returning the smile.
"Yes, it is,” he nods. I turn and continue walking, leaving my earphones out until the last hints of refrain are overshadowed by my arriving train.

Then sings my soul
My Saviour, God to Thee
How great Thou art
How great Thou art
How great Thou art

(Later, I tell a friend what happened, how I was moved to tears and filled with joy at the same time. I tell her about the book, and and how this moment seemed so disconnected from any potential plotline, but yet filled with beauty and significance.

"So does story matter, or not?” I wonder at the end, “And if so, what was that all about?”

"This wasn't a plot moment,” she answers confidently, “It was a relationship moment.”

"I look at her quizzically.

"It was you and God, sharing a moment. Building your relationship. Enjoying each other. And that's the most important part of your story.”)


MLW said…
I agree with your friend and would make the observation, maybe God was telling you that in you story (and that of all Christ followers) our great God is the beginning, the end, the unfolder, the writer and more. I believe God spoke an answer to your questions. How great and awesome He truly is!
Sarah said…
Love it!
nadine said…
I love this. All of it. But you already know that.
paulman said…
Beth! Where are you!? I was in St. George Station two nights ago!

What are you up to these days? :P
Beth said…
paulman, i'm back in vancouver, but i was in T. for a few days...this was actually last thursday.
paulman said…
Ah, I see. Thanks for the response :)

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