(Try saying that fast five times!)
"Hey, Mom! Guess what? I'm gonna be at the music conference with you and Dad this year."
"Really, Kent? That's great! You're gonna love it."
Both father and son serve as ministers of music and Kent's new call was back to the south where he was born in Kinston, NC. His first ministry was with a church in Michigan so we were all enjoying living closer together. Sharing this conference was a cherry on top!
We spent several days together sight-reading music from all the big, Christian publishers. Large packets of new music beside us, we sang with 1,500 other musicians. Quite a jubilant choir! Kent's tenor rang over my soprano and Doug's bass as we got a good feel for the harmony of each piece. Our music landed in two piles, the rejects growing taller than the to-consider stack. Workshops filled the gaps between reading sessions.
Steve Green was the evening's guest singer. His music and strong family message were not wasted on this audience.
After service we got in line to meet him.
"What's that in your hand, Kathy?" Doug asked.
"Oh, just something for Steve," I tried to play it off.
"What, Mom?" Kent continued the harassment.
I knew they'd both disapprove but gave in. "OK. I'll tell you but don't try to talk me out of it."
They both looked scared.
I continued, "You know, he announced that he'll be in Raleigh tomorrow night, right?"
"Right?" they said in unison with an upward inflection, ensuring it was still a question in their minds.
"And you both know Katy will be at that concert, right?"
"Right?" they echoed, agreeing that their daughter/sister would be at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium with Steve Green and about a thousand others.
"Well, I got an idea. I wrote her this note and attached a dollar bill to it." I unfolded the paper. They peered and read silently:
I forgot to give you money for Steve's concert.
So put this in the offering. And be GOOD!
"Kathy! You're not. . ." Doug's wasted words flowed as Kent rolled his eyes, knowing it was hopeless.
"Yes, I am! Listen. Steve may actually think it's funny enough to call her name out. He's not got a lot of schtick and might need a humorous hook. With a real dollar bill on the note, he CAN'T just toss and forget it. So I figure if he takes if from me in a minute, it just might work."
"It won't work, Honey," Mr. Sunshine encouraged.
"Mom, you're crazy," Kent stated the obvious.
As we neared Steve, they took a few steps back from me, to guarantee adequate space between us in line.
"Mr. Green," I gushed, "we so enjoyed your music tonight. I especially appreciate your strong family values." (He'd even phoned his wife while on stage.)
He smiled, "Thank you."
"Since you know the importance of family, I wonder if you might help me with mine."
He looked serious and sincerely concerned as he leaned closer to me.
I spoke more softly as I handed him the folded piece of paper, "Tomorrow night our daughter will be at your Raleigh concert. I forgot to give her money for the offering. Would you please give this to her? It'll come back to you," I winked.
He grinned, nodded and took the note with a, "Yes ma'am."
The two dumb sheep behind me robotted through the line, still embarrassed. On the way to the car Kent said, "It'll never work, Mom. You just wasted a dollar." Mr. Sunshine, Jr!
Maybe. I didn't even tell Katy what I'd done.
We all pretty much forgot about it until the following night when we returned to our motel. Kent was watching TV on one bed. Doug stretched out to read, beside me on the other bed. The phone rang. I answered.
It was Katy screaming into the phone so loudly that Doug and Kent could hear her when I pulled the phone away from my ear, "AAAAAKKKKK! MAMA, MAMA, MAMA! Oh, Mama! You're so crazy! SteveGreencalledmynamefromthestagetonight! At the end of his concert he said, 'Last night we were with 1,500 music directors in SC and one of them sent a message to her daughter here tonight. So if Katy Henderson will come to the stage and see me after we dismiss, I'll give it to you.'"
Kent did a back flip from the bed to the floor. Doug's grin stretched out as his eyebrows arched up to his hairline.
Katy had enjoyed her moment of fame.
Her friends ushered her through the crowd with loud pomp, "Ex-cuuuuuse us! Katy Henderson coming through! This is THE Katy Henderson to see Mr. Green!" Steve laughed with her as she read my note but he wouldn't take the dollar back. I wonder if she kept it.
We all kept the memory. It was worth a dollar.