A Book Club Extraordinaire

Celebrating the phenomenon of Facebook;
A Tribute to the One-Armed Organist

A Book Club Extraordinaire
Celebrating the phenomenon of Facebook

It’s a phenom known as Facebook
where lost friends are found
and parallel paths cross again.
It’s a treasure hunt unlike
I’ve ever been on
where I’m digging up names from back when.

It’s like I’m a detective.
I am sleuthing online
for a classmate I knew in high school.
And like magic they surface
on my PC screen.
It’s a treasure more costly than jewels.

It’s amazing, addictive.
It gives you a rush.
One click of the mouse and you see
what old chums are doing,
have planned or regret
or what, with the Lord’s help, they’ll be.

It’s a book club of members
who are writing the book
that keeps growing in length day by day.
And while not a bestseller
(much better, it’s free),
it has content for which gladly you’d pay.

It’s an online reunion
without leaving home.
You share pictures, advice, recipes.
There’s no need to be lonely
with Facebook around.
Just log on and have fun.
It’s a breeze.

A Tribute to the One-Armed Organist
Remembering Mark Thallander’s near-fatal accident six years later

You never will forget that day
life as you knew it passed away.
But in the wreckage of what died
a new life came to be.

As friends and families got the word
of what had happened August 3rd.
They prayed that God would let you live
and then that you would thrive.

Concerts of prayer, that’s what took place
as thousands stormed the throne of grace.
With fingers flying on the keys,
we pulled out all the stops

We asked the Lord that what was left
would give way to the upper cleft
so melodies with your right hand
could swell with praise to Him.

And what we asked the Father for
has come to pass. You know the score.
The minor key of tragedy
resolved in wondrous ways.

It’s all about God’s faithfulness
where sorrow and unhappiness
become the means to bring about
the music of His heart.

* Six years ago while vacationing in Southern California, I received an email from Peggie Bohahnon. This writing colleague in Springfield, MO alerted me to a tragic accident in New England (on August 3, 2003) involving a world-renown organist. Peggie asked me to join thousands who were praying that Mark would survive. I did. I also wrote a poem especially for Mark hoping to encourage him in his struggle. On going correspondence and a personal friendship began that week that continues to this day.

As it turned out, Mark did survive, but his left arm didn’t. It had to be amputated. His life as he’d known it was over. What could be worse to a concert organist than to be deprived of his left arm? To add to his grief, while Mark was hospitalized his father died. Mark was unable to attend the funeral service. He listened to it on a portable phone placed near his bed.

Subsequently, Mark has defied the odds and continued to make a career of concert performances and church appearances. Having been fitted with a prosthesis, he can use his left hand to chord. It’s an amazing story of courage, determination, faith and God’s faithfulness. Yes, faithfulness is the word for the day.

You can learn more about Mark’s amazing story by going to www.markthallander.com