A song for you!

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, January 6, 2016

I remember several years ago on a cold Tuesday morning I was headed down to Bryson Hall at White Oak Assisted Living Center. A dear friend and congregant, Jim Jackson, had invited me to be the guest song leader in a program he had established long ago. Each Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m. a group of folk converge on White Oak to sing with the residents for half an hour.

I remember thinking it would be a good thing to do for the shut-ins at White Oak. Little did I know!

As I walked into the meeting room I noticed residents with various abilities seated around the room. Some were bright and responsive and some were not even in the same world. I walked to the front of the room and several others and I began to sing the songs that they sing each week.

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There was an ancient, tiny, African American lady on the front row head down on her wheel chair tray. All I could see of her were the corn rows on the top of her head. Through the entire song list I never saw her face. I was about to leave and one of the volunteers asked if I would sing a Sunday school song from the classes I lead at the church.

“Oh How I Love Jesus” came to mind but I could not remember the verses. I sang the chorus through a couple of times and then stopped singing. I realized that the song was continuing without me. A soft, clear voice lilted around the room for two more verses. I looked at the front row to see the little African American lady, head tilted back smiling and singing her solo which ended with “ Because he First Loved Me.”

As I watched dumbstruck at this lady who had been in what had seemed a coma for the past 30 minutes was now singing her heart out. Not only was she was singing and smiling, I also saw a glow that permeated from her whole being.

For once I was without words, tears welling up in my eyes the huge lump in my throat melted into a warmth that began in my chest and spread throughout my being. I had been the one to receive the blessing that day! I came to serve others and they had served me.

We are all travelers on this strange journey of life. All of us at the same time students and teachers, patients and doctors, servers and served, lovers and loved. I pray that you are able to see and feel the lessons that the world has for you today! Our gifts and talents are meant to be shared. Get out and try to make a difference in someone’s life today.

You know, it may just be you that receives something!

By Lance Smith
Associate Pastor
Congregational Church of Tryon UCC