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Hidden Gifts

A small incident with big implications is a subject for reflection to Stephen Rymer.

"A serious dearth of musicians hit the Christian community at Scargill in 2000, after a period when there had been four good pianists and even a string quartet among the members. What was God saying to us?

Then shortly after the arrival of some new members from the Czech Republic, the piano could be heard from time to time in various parts of the house - and on occasions when all the known pianists were otherwise occupied. Who could the phantom pianist be?

As soon as she was identified, other community members started asking her to play the piano for acts of worship which they were going to lead, but for some months the answer was always the same, "No. I couldn't. I can't read music, I only play by ear."

It took a very perceptive friend of the 'phantom' pianist to unlock the hidden gift. She did so by asking Miri if they might play and sing a worship song together as a duet. And years later, my heart still fills with joy when I hear that song and remember that moment.

Perhaps it does so, because of someone who unlocked a hidden gift in me. One day, in the course of a talk to a group of people about gifts, I had said that I could never be an arranger of flowers, though my mother was very proficient at it. Afterwards a lady approached me and asked who chose my ties. "I do", was my answer. "In that case, you can arrange flowers", was her response. "You have a eye for colours and form, so I'm sure that you could arrange flowers."

And now, from time to time, I arrange a vase of flowers or prepare a floral decoration at Christmas.

The secret lies with the outsider and in the power of affirmation."

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