Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Pastor Holland's Opus

Pastor Holland’s Opus

        Two Octobers ago my church, the church I have attended since babyhood celebrated its 130th birthday. We made a really big deal out of it. One Sunday we dressed up in “old timey” clothes and took sepia-toned pictures. There was a gigantic carry-in and lots of people came back to visit. Former pastors, missionaries and lots of friends. It was glorious. 
me in "old timey" garb
I am profoundly grateful for my church family on ordinary days, but on that day I was overcome with just how much my life has been impacted by the people who worship at “the church on the curve”.
       It made me think of that Richard Dreyfus movie- Mr. Holland’s Opus. Remember the scene at the end when dozens of his former students come back to play the great work he had been composing for most of his life? It was sort of like that. Only in reverse. I was not sitting there looking over my own accomplishments. Not my great work, but God’s work in me. I was the opus (just like we all are). 
       Pastor Boardman was there with his family. Steve is the first pastor I remember. He baptized me when I was eleven years old. His eldest is one of my dearest friends in all the world. I have vivid childhood memories of Pastor Boardman joyously leading Bible School songs like “Only a Boy Named David”. 
       Pastor Holland was there. (Yep, that’s right we had our own Hollands) Brian was my youth pastor when I was a teen. I can hear him now, as I type these words, giving the advice I know impart to my young boys, “Remember who you are, and whose you are.” 
      There were my Sunday School teachers and youth leaders and people who sent me cards and came to my plays and read my stories. We've shared meals and laughed together. They patched me up when my heart got broken, and were there when I needed advice. They have composed notes in the great work that God is doing in me. Each of us is His great work. His opus. He has used my church family to recreate me in His own image. 
       I met my husband in Sunday School. Pastor Van Cise (the current pastor) preformed our wedding. Pastor Paul also dedicated both of our sons. 
      And the legacy continues. Now as my children are being written, they are orchestrated by God’s hand, and He still uses the wonderful people in our church family to bless and teach and comfort and lead. What a precious, wondrous gift. 
      I pray that I am not only a recipient of this astounding gift, but I, too, want to be an instrument. I want my life to compose notes in other great works. What a beautiful symphony it must make when we love one another. 


  1. This is beautiful!!!! And Brian's words are true! I think I need to remember them extra today.

    1. Thank you! Keep in mind, the reason I didn't capitalize "whose" is because it doesn't only refer to God. We are His, and though people don't really belong to each other, our families and friends care about what happens to us and are impacted by our decisions :)

    2. (I don't mean it to sound admonitory, just expanding the thought)

  2. Amie, I am so thankful that I have found this church! It reminds me of the church of my childhood and I understand and appreciate this post!

  3. Thank you! I'm glad you found us too!