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Rhymes & Reasons

Category: Arts & Entertainment / Topics: Arts & Entertainment Coping Music Tragedy Tribute, Testimony

A Tribute to a One-Armed Organist

by Greg Asimakoupoulos

Posted: August 9, 2009

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, 2009) 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

Search all articles by Greg Asimakoupoulos

Greg Asimakoupoulos (pronounced AWESOME-uh-COPE-uh-less) is an ordained minister, published author and a freelance news reporter with the Salem Radio Network.   Greg maintains a weekly column called Rhymes and Reasons on The Partial Observer,  which he graciously provides to SeniorLifestyle.

Greg's writings have now been assembled in book form. Find out more.

E-mail the author (moc.loa@veRemosewA*)

* For web-based email, you may need to copy and paste the address yourself.

Posted: August 9, 2009

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