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The Hallelujah Kazoo Band
By Betty Castleberry

I want you to know how proud I am to be using my talent for the Lord. When I first started going to Pineville nondenominational church, I felt out of place. It wasn't long, though, that I started to attend the Saints in Waiting Circle, and made a lot of new friends. The folks in our group sure aren't any spring chickens. That's why they call us Saints in Waiting because we're just waiting to meet Jesus face to face.

It was Claude's idea to start the Hallelujah Kazoo Band. We all thought it was great because we wanted to offer our gifts freely and maybe be a blessing to somebody. Claude used to be in a rock and roll band, but he hadn't played in years. We decided he was the best choice to organize the band, anyway. Besides, the only other person in our circle that knows anything about music at all is Darla. She played the clarinet in high school, and she's still got that instrument. Every now and then she brings it to our meetings. I know it's really not Christian to say, but I've heard cats in labor that sounded better than her clarinet playing.

It ought to be pretty clear that, out of the eleven people in our circle, none of us really have much musical knowledge. Claude came up with the idea that we could all play kazoos. He said he bet there wasn't a one of us that couldn't hum, and that's all we'd have to do to be expert kazoo players.

Since Claude is the only man in the group, he was elected to go to the dollar store and buy a whole bag of kazoos. When he returned with eleven red kazoos, we decided we better have a practice. If we sounded all right, we hoped Brother Karl would ask us to do some special music for the Sunday evening service.

We had our next meeting in the fellowship hall. Everybody showed up, and on time, too. They were all excited to start playing and really do something special for the church. Claude gave us a one and a two and a three, just like Lawrence Welk used to, and we all started humming "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."

After the first chorus, Claude yanked his kazoo out of his mouth and waved his arms to get our attention. Turns out not everybody can hum on key after all. He said we should start playing again, and he would stand in front of us and point out anybody who wasn't on key. If you ask me, he was off key himself, but he's the leader, so we let him do it. When we started the song again, he jabbed his finger right at me. I stopped playing and stared at him. Then he pointed a finger at Polly. She stopped playing too, and pointed right back at him.

When we had made it all the way through the song, there were four of us Claude had pointed out. I think there were some hurt feelings, but since we all wanted to be in the band, we had to come up with a solution. Claude said he had to leave for a few minutes, but he would be right back.

Just a little bit later, he did come back, and with another bag. It had a bicycle horn, a baby rattle, and some spoons in it. He had us pick out what we wanted to play, so I took the horn.

We played our song again, and Brother Karl came in while were practicing. Personally, I think my honking that horn after each verse stole the show, and convinced Brother Karl to invite us to play the next Sunday evening.

When Sunday came, you should have seen us band members. We were dressed to the nines. Claude was even wearing after shave. He would have smelled nice, too, if he hadn't baptized himself in it.

Brother Karl called us up front, and we sailed right through that hymn like expert musicians, humming, and rattling, and shaking, and honking to beat the band, pardon the pun.

We got a huge round of applause, but the best blessing of all was knowing we were volunteering for the Lord. You know, I bet He'll ask us to perform in heaven. That is, when the last one of us stops waiting and officially becomes a saint.

2006 Betty Castleberry
Betty Castleberry is a retired-early-by-choice RN who lives in Texas with her husband and three parrots. She has a daughter, step daughter, and five grandchildren. She is a published author, and loves to write for the Lord. If you would like to write to Betty, you can do so through the letters page of this magazine.