Parables were one of the primary teaching tools of Jesus. I've experienced the transformation that can take place in the middle of an explosive or difficult situation. A well expressed word picture can make an immediate difference. It's quite amazing!
This week end, Frank and I had an awesome privilege. A young man in our church blessed us with complimentary tickets to hear the Florida Symphony perform. And the theme of the evening? Love Songs.
Frank and I RELISH good music! And to sit in a theater surrounded by the waves of flawlessly performed orchestral pieces........well, it was delicious.
At one point Frank whispered, "I think we're the youngest people in here."
I stifled a giggle then scanned the sea of silver and white heads. It did indeed appear that we were most likely well below the median age.
So many cute, older couples. Refined ladies, beautifully manicured. Gentlemen sitting tall and handsome. They epitomized grace and culture.
And it was then that I caught sight of him.
In a room filled with people sitting shoulder to shoulder; many holding hands; several men with arms draped over the seat of their "sweetheart"........he stood out like a sore thumb.
A man obviously handsome in his younger days. Time, work, life in general had aged him. He sat with his open palms resting casually on his knees. He drank in the music as it rolled across the room.
My heart caught. He sat alone. "Why?" I wondered. Scenarios began to play out in my mind.
- His wife was unable to make the concert at the last minute and he hated to waste the tickets.
- Perhaps a distant family member had arrived as an unexpected guest.
- Maybe she wasn't feeling well and had insisted that he go on alone.
Then my mind went to what I thought must surely be the obvious:
- His wife had recently passed away; and he had determined to attend the performance in her honor!
My throat constricted and tears sprang to my eyes. Here I sat, snuggled next to the man I love, listening to some of the greatest love songs of all time.
I whispered, "Oh honey, look. That gentleman in front of us. He's alone!" (The worst state of being that I could imagine at that moment!)
Frank read my mind. He knew exactly where my vivid imagination had taken me.
"Honey," his head bent close to my ear. "his wife is probably in the orchestra."
A smile broke across my strained brow. Like magic, the word picture Frank suggested transformed the moment. It made perfect sense. His brighter story idea saved our evening.
Oh, the power of a word picture. That was all it took:
A lovely time was had by all!