Thursday, September 22, 2016

Benefits and blessings when singing . . .

Singing to older adults has its benefits.  Sometimes the benefit becomes a personal blessing.

I sang this morning at our local Senior Center.  I sing there once-a-month, and on other special occassions.  I will be the "entertainer" at their upcoming Community Thanksgiving Dinner in November.  I can't wait!

When I arrived at the Senior Center this morning, the first thing I heard was "tell us about your vacation!"  

"Aww, y'all don't want to hear about my vacation."

"Yes we do!  Tell us all about it!"

So, I did!  For about 10 minutes I told them about our vacation to Colorado, where we went, what we saw, where we ate, and where we stayed.  They seemed genuinely interested.

The truth is, it wasn't so much that they were interested in our trip.  They were interested in me, and I knew we had made a great connection as a result.

This is a phenomenon that happens sometimes when you sing to older adults.  They move from considering you as "an entertainer" to considering you as a friend.  In other words, the music has done what it was supposed to do . . . provide connections between people.

I truly do care for the people at the Senior Center.  That doesn't depend on whether you are a pastor or not.  If you are going to sing "therapeutically" to older adults, then you need to actually care about them. It's nice to know that the folks at the Senior Center have allowed me to step into their extended family.  We care about each other.

Being a pastor in a local church, I like these kind of connections.  As a pastor, I live and work within a defined community.  I spend about half my time in the community making and forming relationships.   As a result, I sometimes get invited to sing, instead of going into a nursing home or senior center and introducing myself.  This is a good thing.  It usually takes about a year for this to happen.  You have to put in the time and effort.

Maybe the best place to start singing to senior adults, if that is something you are interested in, or feel called to do, is someplace in your local home community.  Give it some thought.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

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