Being Overheard

As a fire crackled in the fireplace, a woman across from me was busy crocheting a baby blanket. Not far away a game of bridge was in full swing. Another game was taking place across the room. Debbie was busily working on her computer, and I, as you might expect, was playing guitar.

We were all there on retreat. We knew each other, and everyone was relaxing in their own way.

And so I played. Often playing the guitar is my relaxation. Sometimes when I play I’m performing, engaging an audience through music and interaction. Sometimes I’m practicing, working with a specific goal in mind. Sometimes, as on this occasion, I am relaxing in a musical, prayerful way.

Playing as I would in my own living room, I did not attempt to keep it to myself. Likewise, I did not call attention to myself. The music took its own course through the room. People continued whatever they were doing, but the music was present. It was being overheard.

As we move about from day to day, place to place, occasion to occasion, our lives take their own course. The people we encounter continue whatever they are doing, but in those times that seem so ordinary, our lives are overheard.

Sometimes we command attention, and other times we steal away to privacy. Often, though, we are simply present. In those times and spaces, we make the most lasting impression because then our lives are overheard.