Sunday, November 16, 2003

Meals and Music Make Strange Bedfellows

Today I attended a luncheon and the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission camp in the JSA. It was hosted by a General from the Swiss Army and the food was magnificent. I guess the proper way to hold a formal lunch is to begin with cocktail hour at approximately 11am. Well, being a non drinker I asked for coffee. I think at that point I really insulted the guy behind the bar because he looked at me as if my face were made of stewed carrots and said, "This is cocktail time. We have no coffee!" Oh, pardon me! How dare I! Quickly and a tad less authoritatively, I asked for a glass of water. He glanced with disgust and handed me a glass of crystal clear water as if he were handing me a napkin full of ox droppings. After enjoy the conversation of a hotel manager from Australia, a Canadian Embassy worker, and a few other interesting people, we were invited into the meal. We wandered to whatever table and chair we felt comfortable with and sat down. At my table was my battalion commander, our signal officer, a young man and his little sister who are the children of a Swedish Army officer. Also there was the worlds quietest man who I'm fairly sure never brushes his hair and one other. He was a "Brew Meister". He too lacked hair care skills and needed dental work as badly as a cockney chocolatier. I say he was a brew meister because he attend a school in Munich for two years after working 6 years in the beer making business. This guy loved beer. In fact, he kind of smelled like he bathed in it. The first part of the meal was Swiss cheese melted in a little oven and then eaten hot with fruit and vegetables. Cauliflower and Swiss cheese is an unusual flavor combination to say the least. However, the taste was mild and quite enjoyable. The same cannot be said of the smell. As the cheese melted it began to emit a rather interesting odor. Maybe "interesting isn't the right word". I think rancid works a bit better. And not just a little. Overwhelming comes to mind. I noted, out loud, that the smell was unusual and the brew meister said, "That's not the cheese!" glancing down at his feet. Well, we all gave an uncomfortable chuckle at his little "joke" and it became as clear as my ox dropping water that he had the social skills of said ox. Notwithstanding some of the company and the smell it was a wonderful meal of various meats, fresh bread, fresh fruit, and some of the most incredible desserts ever made. The Swiss know how to put on a first class lunch. There was one chocolate dessert, a cream/cake thingy that I think I'd actually kill for. It was fabulous. After lunch we "retired" to the lounge for some of the best coffee this side of Seattle. Wow!

After returning to Camp Bonifas I made my way to my hooch for my compulsory Sunday afternoon nap. As I lay on my bed watching TV (actually just looking at a running screen) I began to think about chapel service this morning. I preached about music and why we sing and what it does for us. It's not always comfortable but it's always beneficial when we allow God to speak to us through music. I muted the TV, went to my computer, and began to play some music. I started looking for songs I didn't know and ran across one called "How Deep The Fathers Love For Us". I think I've listened to it a thousand times today. It starts like this...

How deep the Fathers love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

What a deal. Imagine being God's treasure! He must see something I don't cause when I look I see trash. He sees treasure. The more I think about it the more I am moved. I have to wonder if God brought those words to my attention because of how I looked at my friend the Brew Meister. Another part of that same song says...

Behold the Man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

I mock Him when I look down on those made in His image. To think I am better than anyone belies a belief that some parts of God's image are better than others. How sad to think such a thing. AW Tozer said, "The Church [in this case me] has surrendered her once lofty concept of God and has substituted it for one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking, worshipping men."

My new little song friend ends with...

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

So I preached about music and singing this morning and ended today singing alone in my room. Not trying to be rather spiritual but just imagining that simple song as being the sound of Christ's work for me, and for those that reflect his image better than I ever will.