"Tender and beautiful fronds of my beloved plane tree, let Fate smile upon you. May thunder, lightning, and storms never bother your dear peace, nor may you by blowing winds be profaned. A shade there never was, of any plant, dearer and more lovely, or more sweet." ~from Handel's Largo
Advent can sure be crazy sometimes, can't it? We're supposed to be quietly waiting for the coming of the Lord; it should be a solemn time of peace and stillness, but in fact, it is often the exact opposite. We often find ourselves with too much to do, too much to eat and too much to spend. Nothing quite spells stress like Christmas preparations!
My advent stress levels have been at an all-time high so far this year and I have spent too much time fretting instead of patiently praying for peace. After an incredibly busy morning at work, I left for my lunch break walk a bit later than usual and was startled by the snap of cold that met me when I stepped outside! I wrapped my scarf a little more tightly around my neck and increased the pace of my footsteps. When I reached Gesu Church, just three blocks from my office, I saw that they had a sign outside advertising a mid-day organ concert and the doors to the magnificent upper church were open, so I snuck inside to warm up and check it out. I was the only one there! It turns out that I had stumbled upon a private concert just for me!
I was just finishing my rosary when the organ swelled with sound and I heard the strains of Largo, an old favorite from my childhood. I could just picture my sister Cindy with her chestnut brown curls sitting at the piano, fingers poised in perfect position, practicing Largo over and over again while my mom oversaw the practice session from her nearby Husqvarna Sewing Machine where she worked on our family mending. I was awash in the comfort of pleasant, long-forgotten memories.
It's funny how God always seems to find a way to bring peace to our hearts when we are most in need, and He does it in such unexpected ways! I never would have imagined that listening to Largo in a grand and empty church on a blustery December day would have brought peace to my frazzled heart, but it did! And at that moment, I understood that God is in complete control of my life, just as He has always been, and I can let go of the worry and let God handle things in His own way and in His own time. God is always good and I am very grateful!
Maybe you'd enjoy finding a few moments of calm by listening to the peaceful sounds of Largo yourself? If so, you will find a lovely version here.