I was just thinking about the time I had to fill in for the church organist one Sunday morning. I was the church pianist, but when the organist was gone, I was the one who got her job.
The pastor's wife was playing the piano this particular morning, and my oldest was either a well-seasoned four-year-old, or a very young five-year-old at the time. She was sitting on the front row with her best friend, the pastor's daughter. I was on the opposite side of the church.
A perfect storm.
The pastor finished his sermon and, as all Southern Baptist pastors used to do, gave an invitation. As the pianist and I launched into "Just As I Am", and waited for the Lord of the Universe to move among the congregation, my daughter was moved by the Lord of the Dance.
All of a sudden, that kid stood up, took her friend's hands, and launched into an uninhibited jitterbug, fueled by something other than the somber hymn we were playing. No matter how hard she tugged at her friend, and no matter how elaborate my daughter's gyrations, her friend knew better. The pastor's wife never saw a thing, even though she was just a few feet from all the action.
I'm sure my "you'd better straighten up right now" throat clearing and eyeballing helped create a three-ring circus effect that day - the pastor and I being the sideshows - while my little Michael Jackson took center stage.
We sang all the verses, and no one came forward. And no one went over to jerk a knot in her tail, either.
Am I surprised? They were busy watching the show of shows, and laughing. Or worried that God was going to send a lightning bolt her direction, since no God-fearing Baptist would have dared trip the light fantastic in church - especially during the invitation hymn!
I'm sure her performance was the highlight of the service. I know it made my day, but that was a secret I kept at the time. I watch her with her kids now, and remember my dad's favorite admonition, "You shall reap what you sow". And I smile.