I've sworn to myself that before I die, I'll sky dive and play guitar. And so, being the resourceful over-analyst I am, I took an unbelievably simplified guitar class at my summer Christian-camp of choice.
Upon entering the room, I performed my usual routine of finding the most empty piece of wall real-estate and thusly planting my self there on the floor.
Surveying the room revealed a pod of cheerleaders, a brace of Louisiannans, the clan of we-make up-half-of-the-camp Westside Baptist Church members, and myself. My point in saying this is not to highlight my individuality (unfortunately, I'm rather typical), but rather to highlight the individuality of the next guy that walked into the room.
While expectations based on this vague detail may involve such trendy demographics as music-buff or uber-emotional (think black), this fellow was actually his own person. He sat down on the floor beside me and, in an obnoxiously thick accent, announced, "My name's John. I'm from Mississippi. How 'bout you?"
John was a stocky, seemingly dull-witted guy; the kind of guy with a frustrating tendency to strike everyone's last nerve despite having the best of intentions. He was very friendly and had a knack for breaking our class's only rule:
Rule #1: Don't play guitar while teacher is talking.
While under normal circumstances, this would be only a minor annoyance, keep in mind that people who take guitar classes are doing so because they are clueless when it comes the instrument (and southpaw "Johnny Hendrix" was no exception).
As we became familiar with our chords, song time arrived, and we were all ready to play the contempo-praise song "Marvelous Light."
While our teacher was strumming along with his students, he would sing the words to the song, adding in the names of the chords, never breaking away from the tune of the song.
"'G' Into marvelous light I'm running/'C' Out of darkness out of shame 'E minor...'"
Several times through his new song, John decided that less play and more sing was in order, and so put down his guitar. John started singing the song at the top of his lungs, even including the awkwardly harmonic "C", "G" and "E minor" that the teacher was singing.
What makes this amazing rather than rant-worthy is that John sang with a frank spirit of praise rather than one of sarcasm or entertainment. While all week everyone had been annoyed by John, today everyone joined in, sang along with praise, "E minor" and all.