"No matter where I am, your teachings fill me with songs." - Psalm 119:54 (CEV)

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Notecard

I saw it last week

At the perfect time.

I'd been thinking

About what to write,

What it was that I could say,

What inspired me that day.

Then I saw it.

It was sitting on my keyboard

In its usual location,

Resting on the keys.

I looked at it and thought,

Just for a moment or two,

About how it came to be there,

How it earned such a unique place

In my special artist space.

I'd gone over to her room to do homework.

A couple of other people were there.

We were just sitting around, talking,

Not really doing too much homework.

She pulled out a card,

Handed it to me.

"This is for you."

I glanced at it.

It was a Bible verse.

I saw the reference.

It was one I had memorized in eighth grade.

Thinking I knew it,

That it wasn't important,

Beyond the fact that it was a gift from a friend, that is,

I shoved it in my backpack,

Planning to hang it up on the wall in my room later on.

When I actually got back to my room,

Pulled the card out of my bookbag,

Read it,

I saw the underlines,

Saw the variations in the way the words were arranged.

This was not the version I memorized.

It was a different version,

With emphasis added,

Two underlines highlighting important points.

I looked at it for a moment,

Tape ready,

And began to wonder why she gave it to me,

What made her pick that one.

I remembered that she was there the year before

When a pastor came to speak,

Talked with me a little afterwards,

Reminded me God had a plan for my life.

I cried.

I knew that there was a plan,

But it was so hard to believe because I didn't understand,

Didn't know what He had for me,

Still don't.

The pastor prayed for me.

She prayed for me, too,

And someone else, I think.

I don't remember who.

I don't remember what they said, either.

I was too busy thinking,

Being touched by their care and concern,

And trying to calm myself so I wouldn't cry anymore.

Remembering that day,

That she was there,

Made me wonder if that was why she gave me that verse.

I didn't really know.

It could have been nothing,

But it touched me,

So I put the tape away

And left the notecard on my keyboard

As a reminder that there is a plan.

Months later,

Just last week,

I was looking for inspiration.

I saw it on my keyboard

And I thought I'd write the story.

The Notecard

There's a three-by-five notecard
Sitting on my keyboard
With handwriting that isn't mine.

The white card covers black keys
While the black ink speaks to me,
Words of hope covering white.

I remember the day she gave it to me,
I glanced and saw it was something I'd heard.
I thanked her for thinking about me,
Then shoved it away before I'd read all the words.

It was hours before I pulled it out,
Planning to tape it to my wall
Alongside all the other words I've memorized,
Alongside all the other hopeful thoughts,

But first I read the words she transcribed,
Similar to the ones I knew so well,
And it suddenly hit me that she remembered
That day and those tears that fell . . .

When somebody told me
That there was a plan
And I cried 'cause I was aching
To know where it led.
She was one who laid her hands on me,
Whispered words I can't recall.
It was a day I had forgotten,
But she remembered it all.

Now every time I sit down to play
I remember that I have a friend
Who knows exactly what I'm going through
And wants to see me see it through to the end.

And every time I see the white
Breaking a pattern of black,
I take a moment to stop and give thanks
That there is still a plan,
Even though I don't understand.

There's a three-by-five notecard
Sitting on my keyboard
With handwriting that isn't mine.

We spent some time together this weekend,

Along with several other friends.

One morning, we were sitting at the breakfast table,

Finished, plates long-gone.

I pulled out my composition book to write.

She saw and asked to read something I'd written.

I asked what, and she said she didn't care.

I decided to show that song to her,

Really a better story than a song,

The story of what that one notecard has meant to me.

She read it while I scribbled down my other ideas,

The words that needed to get out of my head before they were lost,

On a tiny square of paper,

One of the ones I carry around to hold my ideas,

Inspirations I plan to get back to later.

Then I waited,

Trying to be patient,

But a little anxious,

Because I didn't really know the whole story,

I didn't really know why she'd given it to me.

I hoped that the song would still be all right.

She handed the book back to me, saying she really liked it.

I told her that I didn't know why she really gave me the notecard,

If she really remembered,

Or if she wondered,

Or . . .

What she said,

The truth,

Was even better than the story I made up,

The "artistic license" I took in that song,

The work of "historical fiction" I created

Since I couldn't possibly know another's thoughts.

She said that it was a God-thing,

That she just wrote out the verse and underlined the important parts,

A technique to make things stand out more,

To help her see it in a new light.

Then she just gave it to me.

Yeah, that story is better than mine,

That God would use a small act of kindness,

Not very deeply thought about,

To remind me to have hope.

That reminder is still on my keyboard.

In fact, I don't know if I'll ever take it off.

Except, of course, to play . . .

And then only temporarily.

". . . I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." ~ New Living Translation (NLT), emphasis added

The bold, italicized words are lyrics to the song "The Notecard" by Mary Schieferstein, ©2011 Mary Schieferstein.

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