Our Saturday routine usually begins with breakfast or brunch out somewhere. OK so it’s decadent. It is a luxury that we could do without. There is nothing to stop me cleaning the grill pan some weekday night and buying all the breakfast ingredients for the Saturday – and sometimes I do. We don’t have many vices and it’s nice to let someone else deal with the grill pan and the washing up afterwards.
This Saturday it was a late morning brunch…more like a lunch. Yes, it was lunch. Both the husband and I had not been well throughout the week. His illness was more serious than mine. He was prescribed a course of antibiotics. I drank Lemsip. He made it into work. I dived beneath the duvet in the front room to watch re-runs of “Babylon 5”.
We went to a café in town called Little Italy. The “Little” part was apt. It was a little space packed full of tables. The walls were festooned with black and white framed pictures of what might have been Italian film stars, or possibly the Mafia.
We were coming to the end of our meal. I was interrogating Joe about his meal – some kind of Italian sausage and mozzarella layered creation in tomato sauce. It looked like something I could re-create at home.
Suddenly the waiter, a man called Alphonso, broke into song. I looked around to see if a birthday cake was going to emerge from somewhere. But no, this was just a song. It was in Italian – what else? We were in Little Italy. Alphonso, not the youngest of waiters I have ever encountered, had the most glorious voice. We are not talking opera – just an Italian Bring Crosby kind of voice. There was no band playing, no accordion or guitar – just Alphonso. Someone asked him afterwards if he did requests. He confessed that he chooses his songs carefully to flatter his voice, paying careful attention to the key.
It was so incredibly unexpected. If breakfast out somewhere is not decadent enough, being serenaded while you eat it – In Inverness – is that much better!
It was kind of nice during my duvet days to spend quality time reading the Bible and, I would say meditating but the brain wasn’t capable of that kind of activity. I read and I let the word just wash over me. I am a Bible passage-dissector so it was nice not to do that.
It says in Psalm 42:8 “By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life.”
Listening to the radio one morning, the man doing word for the day talked about making New Year’s resolution and how it’s a silly idea because we all break them anyway. He proposed making the whole year a year of something. For him it was going to be a year of patience and a year of being kind to people. I liked the idea, gave it some thought and decided to make this year for myself to be “the year of singing”.
Reading through different versions of the Bible I am not sure who is doing the singing in Psalm 42:8. Some would say it is the writer of the psalm that is singing the songs given to him by God. Other versions would say that it’s God doing the singing. Both have their appeal but I like the picture of God singing. A song at night makes me think of a lullaby. There is surely nothing more comforting to a child than a parent singing a lullaby.
Of course the “night” referred to doesn’t have to be a literal night. Dark times happen when we go through difficult times – the space we occupy long before we see the light at the end of the tunnel. There are some that would still keep singing in the middle of the dark space and remind us that we are more than conquerors. I think that God sings to us during those hard times when, perhaps, we just can’t sing.
He gives me His songs in the night
When dark are the clouds and hard is the fight
The times when my soul is downcast
He sings of His love that is mighty and vast