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Many years ago, still in my 20’s, I went with a school group to hear a symphony. It was in Philadelphia, but I can’t remember the name of the building. Our pastor and his wife were there, along with Terry and a couple of other friends, all acting as chaperones.
I was just fine until we reached the nosebleed section where our seats were located. I have a terrible fear of heights, and if I’d realized where we would be sitting, I may have chosen to stay home!
I did all right, though, on the climb up the steps to our seats. It wasn’t until I turned around to sit down that I saw that our seats were almost straight up from the floor of the auditorium, a very long way down. I sat quickly, focused on the stage, and managed to get through the performance with a modicum of enjoyment. In the back of my mind, though, I was thinking, “How am I ever going to get down?”
This is a picture of the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel Center.
See what I mean? Makes me dizzy just to look at the picture!
I’m sure it was a wonderful performance, and I wish I could have enjoyed it more.
It was time to go. Terry had already left to get the bus and bring it around from the designated parking area. I was on my own, sweaty hands, spinning head, and furiously pumping heart all in action. I couldn’t move. Really.
Pastor Harris was standing behind me. He waited a few heartbeats, and then he came around and looked at me. I can’t imagine that he didn’t see the terror in my face. In fact, I KNOW he saw it, because he turned his back to me, told me to put my hands on his shoulders, and said he would take me down. “Don’t look at the bottom, Linda. Just watch the steps. I’ll take you down, and you’ll be fine.”
And I was. Shaking, but fine.
I wonder if he remembers. He’s in his eighties now, and a lot more important things have happened during all of those years. I, however, will not forget the kindness and understanding he showed me that day.
5 thoughts on “Terror in the Music Hall”
How wonderful of your pastor to do just what you needed. I was in DC one year at a conference, and some friends and I decided to take the Metro to a restaurant. Coming up from the platform we had to take a very long, very steep escalator, and I don’t love escalotors under the best of circumstances. I felt as if I might fall backwards, it was so steep. Unlike your kindly pastor, and realizing I was in distress, my friend’s husband on the step above me pranced around with his hands off the handrails, hopping on one foot and then the other. Trying to show me how he wasn’t scared at all. I suppose. Jerk. I remain ever grateful to a dear friend who stood beside me with his arm through mine and told me it would be fine. It was!
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Some people just don’t get it. If they’ve never experienced it themselves, then it just doesn’t exist.
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What an understanding man. Even though the experience was frightening, in the end you have a great memory of a compassionate act. Is that why the Lord allows us to teeter on the heights of fear sometimes?
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That’s a good thought to ponder.