Thursday, August 28, 2014

Singing at a bedside . . .

I was invited to the home of one of our senior saints today . . . a woman near the end of her life.  Her health is declining . . . and I could see and sense that when I saw her . . . I had not seen her in several months.   

She lives with her daughter, who called me yesterday and asked if I could come over and "sing for Mom."  We scheduled it for this afternoon, and I was able to make it without anyone else requesting my time.

I admit that I still find it difficult to sing to children when they are in a hospital bed.  They can sense if you are faking it . . . if you are not genuine or sincere.   Yet, I have no such trouble singing to an older adult in the same situation.  I know why.  I've been around older adults in my life.  I was taught by my family to appreciate them . . . to respect them . . . to be courteous to them . . . and to love them for their advice, counsel and stories.   Older adults have enriched my life. 

Many of the churches I have pastored . . . had more older adults than any other age group.  I guess I am used to older adults in many ways.

This afternoon,  I sat on a bed across from this dear lady, and with her daughter and a cousin sitting nearby. I began with some old hymns about Heaven, followed by some funny songs meant to bring laughter, and then sang some energetic songs that just invite people to join in during the chorus. 

I call it my "Branson" show.  If you've been to a music act in Branson, Missouri, you understand.

I truly believe the music I provided today was very therapeutic to everyone there.  And, it was to me as well. 

I'm a pastor . . . a clergyman . . . an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.  I can't begin to remember all the "death" beds I've sat next to over the years.  And I can't remember all the times I've sat next to someone lying in their bed before it became a "death" bed journey.  You just ask questions and listen . . . and listen . . . and listen.

Singing to someone in a similar situation . . . you still listen.  You listen to them sing with you.  You listen to their body language as the song is being sung. 

You also watch . . . the smiles on their faces . . . the gleem in their eye that wasn't there earlier.

Such situations are therapeutic . . . because for the 45 minutes or so I play guitar and sing, they get to forget  . . .  forget that their time here is growing shorter . . . or even coming to a close.  They forget their pain . . . maybe their fear.  They get to a laugh . . . hopefully applaud . . . and make requests for songs they want to hear. 

I was singing once next to someone on their "death bed".   As family gathered around singing and crying soft tears . . . this dear soul took their last breath as I sang the word's "This little light of mine, oh how I have let it shine!"

It was a holy moment.    This afternoon was a holy moment as well.

God's graces till amazes me . . . ><>

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