Friday, September 23, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 17)

Here’s Your Sign
My husband and I were blessed to spend time over the past four days with a prayer warrior, music missionary, spiritual diva, beloved daughter of God whose love, gentleness, joy, and compassion clearly show God is at work in and through her.
A group of us had planned to go out to the airport to pick her up, but come Friday night, Kevin and I were the only ones heading out there.  We joked about making signs and having a megaphone, but we hadn’t done either.  Fortunately, I, at least, had a sign with the charity receiving the proceeds from all of her concerts this year: China Little Flower.  Her face brightened and she came over and hugged us immediately when she saw the sign. 
Baggage Stored   
After hours of traveling and over a month of being on the road and living out of a suitcase, Danielle Rose arrived at the Richmond Airport with little fanfare and a great deal more cheerfulness and gratitude than I likely would have had with such a demanding schedule. 
I believe it’s safe to say that all of us on the small ad-hoc hospitality committee for her this past weekend were deeply touched by Danielle’s presence, and her example, as much as we were inspired by her amazing testimonies and her beautiful music.
Celebrity Priorities
Some performers demand certain things be provided for them that fall under the category of luxurious, ridiculous, or completely unreasonable.  I’ve heard of some stars demanding expensive gifts, lavish meals, and only certain colors of M &M&amp ;Ms be waiting for them in their gigantic hotel rooms.  Not this woman.  Her two main requests were that she be able to go to Mass each day and spend an hour praying before the Blessed Sacrament.   
It was clear in so many ways that she was being led by love, humility, and the Holy Spirit as opposed to self-centeredness or pride characteristic of many popular artists.  She let the children come to her.  She even invited them up to sing some songs with her.  I have a feeling that those children and teenagers will carry the experience of singing her song based on Psalm 139 deep in their hearts for quite some time.  “I praise You, God, for I am fearfully, wonderfully made!”
Edifying Etiquette
The evening she arrived, Danielle, Kevin, our dear brother John, and I went to the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) near her hotel for dinner.  As soon as our waitress came to the table, Danielle greeted her warmly by name.  Throughout the meal, she talked with her and encouraged her that she was doing a good job, which made the woman feel much better that she was learning the ropes well her first month there. 
Upon entering the hotel, Danielle greeted the woman at the front desk as though she were a dear friend.  She immediately read her nametag and always said hello or goodbye and God bless to the woman, whose name was Mary, as she passed through the lobby.  She extended this same courtesy to everyone, which had a positive effect it had on many of them.   

Star Struck
At the end of Masses when she had sung two songs and played her violin as well as at the end of her concerts, she gave each person who came up to her a hug, listened with them as many shared how touched they were by her music or asked her to pray for them or for someone they love.    
At one of the Masses, a young autistic boy and his father were sitting in the choir section near where Danielle was playing her violin.  The boy was talking kind of loudly and was getting restless.  After changing seats and moving around a bit, he went over and picked up Danielle’s violin.  What did she do?  She gave him a huge smile and said hi, assuring his father that it was okay.     
On the way out to the car one day, a young girl and her mom were walking alongside us.  The mother told Danielle that her daughter really enjoyed singing.  She gave some words of encouragement to the little girl, adding that it’s wonderful to use the gift of music to glorify the Lord. 
A Rose is a Rose
Someone gave Danielle a long-stemmed red rose after the concert on Sunday night.  She brought it back to her hotel with her, kept it in water overnight and the next morning had it when we went to Mass at St. Bridget’s.  Once Mass was over and people had cleared out, she went up and placed the red rose before the statue of Our Blessed Mother.  Yet another small gesture with a great deal of love in it. 

Ultrasound Irony
Last Sunday, Bishop Francis DiLorenzo attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new ultrasound machine donated to The Pregnancy Resource Center of Metro Richmond by the Knights of Columbus.  My mom later pointed out that pro-lifers here in the United States are celebrating the generous donation of a new ultrasound machine because it's used often helps women see the child growing inside of them is not just a blob of tissue. 
When talking about the culture of death in China, Danielle Rose told us that women in China are subjected to forced ultrasounds every few months so the government can force them to have abortions if they are found pregnant.  I’ve known about the one-child policy in China, but I didn’t think about what horrifying lengths they go to when enforcing it.  Most women in China have had five forced abortions and are thereby rendered infertile by the time they are thirty years old. 
What can you do to protect the sanctity and dignity of human life?  Here are a couple ideas:

1.)   Join prayer warriors at the closest 40 Days for Life location near you.  See how 40 Days of prayer, fasting, and community outreach will transform your mind, heart, and soul, all while saving lives.   

2.)   Read about the situation in China and consider supporting the orphanage that will receive the proceeds from all of Danielle Rose’s concerts this year: China Little Flower.    

Head over to Conversion Diary, to read Jen Fulwiler's wonderful tradition of 7 Quick Takes Friday.
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