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Accidentally Bumping into Bach

Before a stressful apartment move, the wonder of an encounter with some heavenly music.

Listening to Bach at St. Paul's Chapel in New York during lunch before a stressful apartment move.

Usually I walk around lower Manhattan during lunch. Sometimes I pick up food, other times I just wander about. But last Tuesday, I decided to stay put in the office since I had leftovers and wanted to get all my work done before my big apartment move that weekend.

Around 12:30, though, my sister Priscilla messaged me. She’d just gotten out of a meeting and was going to a salad place for lunch–would I be interested in joining? To be honest, I didn’t really feel like walking all the way to that salad place, since it’s kind of far away (and you know how I feel about salad). But then I remembered it was right by St. Peter’s, the church I sometimes go to during lunch when I need quiet time. Church sounded like just what I needed at that moment. My sisters and I have been so stressed from moving. Plus I could get some fresh air and see Priscilla, one of my favorite people in the world. Why not? I thought.

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“Maybe I’ll take a walk there and pop into church!” I wrote to Priscilla.  

I met Priscilla by her office, right next to St. Paul’s Chapel (in downtown Manhattan, there’s no shortage of churches…or Duane Reade pharmacies!). Instead of walking towards the salad place, though, Priscilla headed straight for the entrance of the chapel. “You wanted to go to church, right?” she said. “I’ll come with you.”

She’d misunderstood. She thought by church I’d meant St. Paul’s Chapel, not St. Peter’s. I hesitated. But it seemed pointless to correct her since we didn’t have a ton of time for lunch. So instead I followed her into the chapel.   

As soon as we opened the door, heavenly music greeted us. Like a choir of angels. The pews were filled. There was an orchestra at the center of the chapel and up above, in the balcony, people were singing. What in the world?

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An usher handed us a flyer for the performance titled “Bach at One,” a Bach concert happening during lunchtime over the course of three days. Priscilla and I stood mesmerized. What were the chances we’d stumble upon such a beautiful concert completely by accident?

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We stood there for a moment, soaking in the music. I felt instantly at peace. We left the chapel, still in awe, and listed out all the little decisions, delays and misunderstandings that had led us there.

It’s amazing, isn’t it? How God leads you to wonder just when you need it most?  Talk about a lunch-break miracle! 

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