When a bride to be is in the planning stages of her wedding there are so many details that need the utmost attention. The pianist or organist to play the designated wedding music is at the top of that list. When I was planning my wedding, many moons ago, I did not have to give this a second thought. My next-door neighbor was a musician at Goldonna Baptist Church and I just knew without a doubt she would come through for her favorite neighbor.
When the time came, I walked over for a brief visit to make sure she was not busy on the chosen date. I even rehearsed the conversation in my mind. I would pop the question, she would say that she is happy to be asked, we would hug it out and go forth with our lives.
This is not how it played out at all. My sweet neighbor, Linda Dupree, looked me straight in the eye and told me under no certain terms would she ever consider this task. She was not known for using four letter words at all but it was almost as if she wanted to use a word that has double hockey sticks at the end. However, she was known as a quick-witted jokester. Maybe she was just pulling my leg by declining my amazing offer. So, I asked again.
Her exact words to me were, “I am not good enough to play at First Baptist Church. I am good, but not First Baptist Church good.”
I tried to convince her otherwise but she was not changing her mind. Needless to say, her words have lingered in my mind for two decades.
You can only imagine my surprise when I received word that my former neighbor, retired school teacher, Linda Dupree played the piano at a funeral for the famous Christian artist, Lauren Daigle.
The funeral was for a colleague of Dupree’s. They had taught many together at Calvin High School and she wanted to be there for the family as she taught all of her children as well. Never thinking for a moment that her colleague’s sister was the grandmother of Lauren Daigle or that she may even be in attendance.
As the funeral began, Dupree was asked to accompany a local vocalist, Todd Martin, with some of the music. Dupree was very comfortable playing for him as she has in the past. She did not even hesitate to step in. All of the sudden a big grin with a big hat pops in and asks if Dupree can play, “As the Saints Go Marching In”. They had a whispering rehearsal that lasted a few minutes and off they went.
Dupree did not even have time to get nervous or decline the invitation to play.
Martin and Daigle sang her song, “Rescue” to a CD. It was such a beautiful and moving moment. It touched everyone so deeply that it brought Dupree to tears. When the song was over, Daigle sat by Dupree and patted her on her back consoling her for making her cry. Dupree was quite sure that she gained another granddaughter at that moment. Daigle was so very kind and genuine. She also said that Lauren made her piano playing sound good. Dupree never had formal lessons to play because she was too hyper as a child to sit still long enough. She was self-taught.
I was speechless and tickled all at the same time at the woman who claimed to not be good enough to play a simple Wedding March at a local Southern Baptist church, but was suddenly the lone accompanying pianist for world renowned recording artist, Daigle.
“Every now and then God will wink at one of his kids and do something in our world that only he could pull off,” said Linda.
Being the humble servant of the Lord that she is, she went on to say, “I honestly don’t see the reason behind the hoo-hah. You just do whatever needs doing at the moment. Except playing for a wedding at First Baptist Church!”.
Let it be known that my neighbor was not First Baptist Church good at all…. she was just Lauren Daigle good.
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” – Mathew 23:12