I play the hammered dulcimer. Well, I used to play it. It now sits silent in a corner of the house, packed away for some later time when I can teach Mercy the simple beauty of its music.
Growing up, I would often be asked to play for some church service or wedding or school function, and as a young girl, it was a chore to carry both the instrument and its stand. I can still picture my dad, at the conclusion of a performance, quietly making his way over to the dulcimer and packing it up into its case and carrying case and stand to the car or wherever we needed to go. He ALWAYS carried the dulcimer.
I remember sometime during college, or possibly after, being asked to play when I was home visiting, and by then I had grown accustomed to sherpa-ing my own instrument having been on my own in Chicago for some time. When the event was over, I was surrounded by people wanting to talk and visit, and when it was finally time to pack up and go I looked over toward the dulcimer and saw that it was not there. I scanned the room and, sure enough, there was my dad standing near the doorway talking to some friends; and he was carrying the dulcimer.
I love my dad. And when I thought about what best describes the way he moves through this life, that is the image that came to my mind. Someone whose default setting is to see an opportunity to serve and meet it, be it simple or costly. Someone who doesn’t think twice about quietly lifting the burden of another. Someone who sees service and sacrifice not as the exception but as the rule.
This pic was taken right before Mercy was born when my dad flew down for a weekend to help out and painted our bathroom for us.