[Rector]

Singing for me

 

Mr. Edmond said, "I'm singing for myself, I just let others listen".

I was one of those privileged fools who had been conned into performing on "Reflections". "Reflections" was a TV program which few got to see. WIN4 in Wollongong, South of Sydney, would screen it as their last piece of viewing for the night. In the early days that meant a time close to midnight. As the years went by it got later and later. I mean, when else would you screen a religious program?

They usually taped us after Bernard King's cooking program. Bernard would do his thing, wasting everyone's time, and so we would sit around twiddling our thumbs. And then we were on.

I hated going second. Luckily, most of the clergy didn't like others seeing them perform, so I tended to be first cab off the rank. Yet there were those times when I would defer to a man in a hurry. I would then have to watch the shear horror of a colleague filled with fear as he was confronted by the technology of a Television studio. If I wasn't nervous by the time I got there, I sure was when it was my turn. They were the days I made a mess of it all.

On most occasions I did my little piece free from intrusion. There was something about the whole exercise which seemed to free me from the constraints of speaking to people. You see, in a TV studio there are hardly any people. There is just machinery. It is as if no one is listening. You just do your own thing without anyone around. A bit like practicing a speech in the bathroom. Amazing how more sensational it is in the practicing than in the performing. Yet in the studio, such was not the case. Well, certainly not for me. So, I performed my script for myself and enjoyed doing it. No one was really listening. I mean, who would be watching TV after midnight? Actually quite a few people, but then you could convince yourself that no one was out there. And those who were, well, the performance was not for them. I just let them listen.

Of course, I learnt the trick in amateur theater. The players must live the role. The audience but see it all as if through a keyhole. Not quite the same thing as a preacher who speaks to the back wall of the church. A disturbing habit. Rather, it's like the preacher who lets you into his musings, who takes you into the questions he has buzzing around in his mind. Who lets you see the mysteries he sees, rather than shoving them down your throat.

Was it not that way when the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only Son of God?