In the praise band at my church I sit in between two other brass players; the lead trombone (a man named Ron) and a trumpet player. Last Wednesday night at practice Ron gave me a surprise gift. It was a 3 ring binder full of worship music and Christmas music for trombone. It also contained two CDs of the songs for me to play along with. He created the whole thing so that I'd be able to practice at home and get used to keeping up with the music at the right tempo.
He also said my playing is improving and that he thinks I'll be ready to start playing with the band on Sundays pretty soon. I really needed the encouragement because I've been nervous about my playing ability. I don't want to make the band sound bad and distract people who are trying to focus on God during praise and worship. He says I just need to play out stronger and be more confident.
Then I got another surprise. The trumpet player (who switches back and forth between playing two different kinds of trumpets!) asked me if I owned a trombone stand. I said that I didn't and he told me that he happens to have one that I can have! I'm just humbled at the kindness from two people who don't know me at all and are helping me for no discernible reason. I've already been enjoying the new trombone music and playing along with the CDs. It's fairly simple music, the hard part is playing at tempo. I can tell that I'm improving in just these last three days. It really is a great gift.