It isn’t a pretty instrument. It is a large bongo drum with dull colors and no shine. It doesn’t have a very loud sound. Usually it is drowned out by more traditional instruments. It seems that when it is played the person playing it with only their hands is totally consumed in their worship. I was watching a young man playing the drum last Sunday. He sat right in front of me just like Cassie used to. His eyes were closed as he was undoubtedly feeling the closeness of God as he played along with the main worship band.
Cassie would always come with her mother. The first thing she did when she arrived was to find the drum. Sometimes it was in place right by where she always sat. Other times she had to find and drag it into position. Almost every Sunday it was common for Cassie to be gracefully slapping that drum in front of me. I didn’t think about it at the time but that drum was a lot like Cassie.
There was nothing fake about Cassie. She was a straight shooter as Jeremy so eloquently described her last week. Jeremy is my non traditional pastor who has touched my life so much these last few months. Jeremy mentioned how Cassie would sometimes tell him that she had messed up and needed prayer. Other times she would say that she was doing great! Cassie always told it the way it was. She was a real person and that is why the bongo drum comparison relates. Like that drum Cassie was often pushed aside. She was not one of these pretty people that seemingly have no faults. She knew she needed God to keep his hand on her and she was honest enough to admit it.
Jeremy told the story of how he originally met Cassie. His band was playing downtown and Cassie happened to be there. For some reason Jeremy couldn’t keep his eyes off of her. Jeremy had a strong feeling that he was supposed to talk to this lady about the lord. After the music was done Jeremy approached and shared Jesus with her. Cassie had been down many roads. She had a drug problem and was looking for something different in her life. Jeremy’s words touched her and she repeated the sinners prayer that day!
It was a while before Jeremy saw Cassie again. Then one day her and her mother walked into Jeremy’s church. “Hey, I know you”, Cassie excitedly proclaimed! “You are the man I met downtown!” From that day forward Cassie and her mother were regulars. When I arrived they were established in the body and doing their part to keep the church moving ahead!
We were invited downtown a couple of months ago to a local restaurant/bar. Jeremy and his band were making an appearance and their music rocked the place. Jeremy accepts the invitation because he knows his music can open the door for him to share the gospel in unusual places. In the room glad to be a part of Jeremy’s fans was Cassie. She was dressed in her usual jean jacket and I could tell she was proud to be there supporting him.
Three weeks ago we had our usual Sunday service. I noticed that Cassie and her mother weren’t there. It was easy to notice because they always sat right in front of us and she played that drum. That morning the drum was silent. On Monday I heard the news that shocked my world. When her mother arrived to pick her up Cassie was in her chair but Cassie wasn’t with us anymore.
The next Sunday I was supposed to speak before Jeremy gave his message. I was prepared to talk about how Jesus is always ready to help us unlike companies of today who put us on hold and have computers telling us what to do. It would have been a funny message that was sure to have people laughing. Jeremy postponed my message that day as it was appropriate to discuss Cassie’s life.
Through the week last week I had a feeling in my spirit that the message I was going to give wasn’t the one the lord wanted. I had Cassie on my mind the whole week. We sometimes act like a memorial service takes all of the pain away from a loss of a loved one. I have found that the continued memory of that person is the greatest comfort to the ones they left behind. As I thought about Cassie I thought about that drum again. She got such a delight playing that drum. I believe that although the sound didn’t stand out it did to God! I think that he delighted in the road she was on and the sound of her praise!
I had the drum pushed in front of the podium as I talked about Cassie. I didn’t really know Cassie but to me that drum symbolized her. It wasn’t shiny, it wasn’t loud, it could be easily forgotten and yet it wasn’t. God doesn’t forget about us either. Unlike man he is not concerned about our outside appearance but looks at our hearts. Luke 5:31-32 states that Jesus told them”It is not the healthy that need a doctor it is the sick, I have not come to call the righteous.” Don’t we all need Jesus? The answer of course is yes but we have to admit that we are sick. Many are too proud to make such an admission. Cassie was not because she was honest and real!
After I talked Jeremy gave his message. The drum was not moved and as I listened I couldn’t help but think of Cassie again. Looking at that drum I knew that I was right. It isn’t a pretty instrument. In fact it seemed to have many flaws. When you think about it though isn’t that the way it is with us? Who can honestly say that they are not flawed? Yet, I am convinced that something about that drum is very special to God. In my mind I see Cassie playing it with feeling and desire. I see her doing exactly what she felt God wanted and that made her and her drum very beautiful in his sight!