Pastor Daryl Meijer has been singing the blues a lot lately—to appreciative audiences in Harriston, Ontario. He recently took a role in the premiere production of Job’s Blues, a blues opera based on the life of the biblical Job.
Rev. Daryl Meijer plays the bartender in Job’s Blues.
Meijer, who is currently on a study leave and serving as interim pastor at Maranatha Christian Reformed Church in Woodstock, said he saw the casting call for musical Job’s Blues and knew immediately it was for him. “I play blues harmonica and had the perfect song ready for the audition,” he said.
Job’s Blues, by R. William Muir, sets Job’s story in a sketchy blues bar, where Job, a Chicago blues singer, has arrived to play a show. Waitresses—one of whom was played by Elaine Luymes of Palmerston CRC—act as the bearers of bad news in this version, from the fire that destroys his studio to the bad cocaine that kills his errant sons. Job is left to deal with these calamities as everyone slowly abandons him—until a conversation with God reminds him that God is in control, brings Job to his knees, and restores his joy.
Meijer played the bartender character, a sort of narrator. “The show received great response, with standing ovations each night,” he said.
One challenge, he said, was learning the dance moves, including a ‘tricky swing move’ that he had only two weeks to learn because of an injury to the original dancer. Driving from his home in the Kitchener area was another challenge; “I figure I logged about 5,000 miles over four months of rehearsals and performances.”
But it was worth the effort, according to Meijer. “I had been experiencing blues of my own over the last couple years. God used the whole experience to help me consider my own sufferings and struggles, to admit my desperate need for God.”