Welcoming the Unexpected

There is a boy singing with the most amazing voice.

That isn’t how I was going to begin this blog, but let me tell you, if you were here and could hear his voice, that’s all you’d be able to say too.  I wasn’t listening to the intro, so I didn’t catch his name, but I think they said he goes to a local high school here and has over a million (a thousand?) hits on his YouTube videos.  I may have heard that wrong, and maybe he is older than my first impression, but if I can figure out who he is and find a link, I will share it.

His voice brought in the swallows.  Where the sky was empty before, there are now soaring little birds.  And yes, his voice even makes the swallows seem to be soaring.   His name is Joel Benson.  They announced it again at the end of his song, and thanks to the wonderful fact that the downtown area is covered in Wi-Fi I was able to pull up Google and YouTube.  I missed two songs hunting for him, but came up empty.  Which tells me I am wrong about how many hits he has on his video; a video with a lot of hits should definitely come up.  So you will just have to take my word for it.  He has an amazingly smooth and classical voice.  The type that made my head jerk up in astonishment to see a highschooler singing.  I am not alone in my appreciation.  The crowd started clapping even before he finished.  If that’s not enough of an indication, take this one: there is what I estimate to be about a 2 year old boy slow dancing by himself with a diaper on his head.  Any voice that make swallows soar and 2-year-old boys slow dance has some kind of magical properties, I would say.

The concert tonight is going by too quickly.  Shadows have already crept along the ground.  It’s almost cool enough for a jacket this week – some different than last week.  There is a light jazzy piece playing now, before that a foot stomping march, but the highlight – and I hear he is coming back for the final song – was this young singer Joel Benson.

Every time I have come to this small town concert I have been impressed, humbled, and surprised.  There are so many good and beautiful things in this world if we make the time to seek them out, or if we open ourselves up to the unexpected moments.  (Jingle bells!  That was unexpectedly appropriate timing for a comment on unexpectedness!)

God, help us to appreciate the simple and unexpected moments of joy that you shower upon us.  Help us to remember during the long and dusty passages that at any moment there could be cool breezes, beautiful sunsets, and remarkable music.  Help us to remember that joy is a gift from you.  Thank you when those moments come.

Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God (Ecclesiastes 5:19).


  1. I'm Sharona on July 25, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    I’m pretty sure I spotted you from the bassoon section this evening 🙂

    The singer with the band this evening is much older than high school…he went to Faith Christian in Lafayette, and graduated from Purdue. The guy with all the YouTube video fame is going to play before the concert next week. Just thought you’d like to know so you didn’t go crazy searching for those videos! Maybe we can be concert buddies next week since I don’t have to play 🙂

    • mustardpatch on July 26, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Good to know! Hopefully everyone will disregard what I wrote. That’s what I get for half listening while I was working on other things… I should probably write a blog post about THAT 🙂 I’m out of town next week, unfortunately, so will miss the concert and the new soloist with all the YouTube fame. Maybe I can actually find HIM online…

  2. debbie townsend on July 27, 2013 at 9:41 am

    I want to hear Joel sing. Anyone know how I can hear him?

    • mustardpatch on July 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      I wasn’t able to find any videos online with him, Debbie, so I don’t know a way for you to hear him. Perhaps someone else knows otherwise. Turns out I misheard the introduction – he has already graduated from college, so is not as young as I thought. Still, I was impressed with his singing.

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Meet Janet!

Janet Beagle, PhD is the founder of The Mustard Patch. She divides her time between the Midwest and New England, and if she’s not writing, she’s probably out hiking with her 2-and 4-footed friends.