by Karl Zimmerman
Last November, I played a concert in Kirkwood, the second (of two) "GlennonSongs" concerts. GlennonSongs is a CD of Christian music produced by a bunch of St. Louis area musicians to benefit Cardinal Glennon Childrens Hospital. I learned later that no CD project for Glennon had ever made money for the hospital and they were very reluctant to support it. We have raised about $12k so far. Pretty cool. But that's not what I wanted to write about.
On that evening in November, it was a fairly light crowd, maybe 100 or so. Still, it was a very nice evening with the band, the Kirkwood Childrens Chorale and my buddies Blessed Bridge and Gabby among others, in the crowd.
During the concert, I was in the middle of singing a song - don't remember which one - but a little girl just walked right up in front of the stage and just looked at me - no, STARED at me for several minutes - with her big innocent eyes. She was probably 3 years old or so, and typically cute as 3 year olds are. She stood there for several minutes, and I just looked back at her and smiled and kept singing. It was one of those moments that remind me why I love music to begin with. After a while, one of her parents must have come forward and rescued her, and the concert continued. Afterward, lots of smiles and hugs and hand shakes were exchanged, but my lingering memory from that evening was this little girl, whom I hadn't met before nor have I seen since.
I learned this week the little girl's name is Sarah, and also learned that she is gravely ill. She has had epilepsy from infancy and seizures and complications now leave her close to death. It's heart breaking for everybody close, and even for some of us who aren't. Please pray for her and her family.
When you read this, maybe you feel sort of removed since you don't really know Sarah or her family. That's ok. Maybe you know somebody else like her or just somebody who is suffering. Just pray for them and all who suffer and their families. It's pretty tough and hard to put into words.
Life is just so fragile and precious. If you think about it, our lives are like a blip on the radar screen if you consider the time line of history. And yet, what a gift God has given us! In this short time on earth, we experience joy and sorrow, love and hurt, life and death. What a gift Life is.
Some people live long lives with lists of accomplishments that are visible for all. Others may live in relative obscurity. But only God knows and sees the real essence of our lives, and ALL are precious in His eyes. As I have reflected on my short visit with Sarah last November, I have decided that Sarah's life, no matter how brief, is a total gift to me. I thank God for that little girl and I get a little choked up thinking about losing her.
One cool thing about music is that I can sing things that I cannot easily say. A good friend of mine, Rico Bertucci, wrote a song a few years back:
"My little friend, I'm so glad I knew you, my little friend, if only for awhile. I will not forget your sweet, sweet smile, oh how you touched my life, my little friend"
God bless you, Sarah, we love you and may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Karl Zimmerman is a music minister for St. Catherine Laboure's Noon Mass and for St. Clement's 6 PM Life Teen Mass. His web site is karlzmusic.com and you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check the OYM Calender for future XLTs.