"REALITY CHECK."
03-31-06

It doesn't happen too often, but every once and a while an event will occur that really takes you by surprise. This week, Bill and I saw just such an event present itself to us. Wednesday, I received a call from the Pastor of Spring Creek Untied Methodist Church in Fair Oaks , Texas named Blair Thompson asking if we could play for a Funeral service for a lady named Janet Carter. The church is a mere hop, skip and a jump for us. Blair said that we would only be needed to perform one song - “Arms Wide Open” by CREED. The whole band was not needed; he was simply looking for a few musicians who could perform the song with an “Unplugged” type of delivery. We were told the service would be at 2:00 p.m. the next day and with Bill and myself needing to pick up our children from school at 3:30 p.m. we knew this would not be a problem for us to pull off, so we told Blair “We would be happy to do it.”

We showed up the next day and met Blair and the sound engineer from the church. We were a little freaked out to find out that this engineer had received some tutoring from our former engineer David Seurer. David, as you may or may not know, lost his life to the very thing that Janet lost hers to; Cancer. Reality Check…

The service started with a packed facility of family, friends and folks who all were touched by this woman thoughout the course of her life. A jazz band called “Small World” from San Antonio was there for the music and they were unreal. They sounded so well mixed and produced yet they only had one or two microphones that were being used and the band mix was simply coming from their instruments and they sounded great! Blair came up to start the service and you could feel how much he alone was touched by Janet and as he spoke you could feel the love and care in the room. Reality Check…

I personally learned a lot about the life of this woman in the next hour during the service. She was a painter and a good one and that. A wife and mother, a sister, a teacher, and most especially – one of God's special children. Her life was cut short by Cancer but she lived life to the fullest. One of the things Blair told us all that he had spent some time at the hospital with Janet before and after surgery, But after she returned home he went into a state of denial. Basically out of sight – out of mind, and when she went back into the hospital and her body quickly started to shut down he found himself startled that she was gone. I went through the same thing with David and I was practically in tears at this point. Her son Harrison got up to speak and it was so moving. Reality Check…

After the service, Bill and I put our guitars away and we started to say goodbye and head out to the parking lot, but before we really made it out we were approached by so many people who wanted to express their gratitude and other comments about the performance we gave on this ONE song. It clearly meant a lot to these folks. The meaning of the lyrics certainly has inspired many. Blair himself sent us a touching thank you letter. Thanks, Blair...

We are all part of an incredible community and each of us has the potential to touch individuals in ways we cannot completely comprehend. But in my humble opinion, it is not for us to know the ways of God. It is a mystery that hopefully we all will come to terms with and rejoice in before we reach our own end. That is the very essence of life, love, and faith. This is the real Reality Check. God bless Janet Carter, her family and friends… and God bless us all.

Brent.

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