Monday, March 15, 2010

Off Topic: Nursing Home Worship Service

Yesterday afternoon, my 90 year-old pianist ("F") from church and I both went to the nursing home in a nearby town to do a half hour worship service. This was the second time we've gone. Neither of us wanted to go, but I think we both went to support the other.

F told me that she really doesn't like the thought of going. But she is so grateful to live on her own and to have her health that she feels she should go. "There but for the grace of God..."

I don't want to go because in my head I wonder what good it does. And I think to myself I already do two services on Sundays and I'm tired (pity party for myself! Geez how selfish!) But afterwards- I know why I have gone and I am so grateful for the opportunity.

F played a loud and lively opening hymn. One of the ladies in a wheel chair started bouncing in time with the music and made noises (babbling) that were almost in tune to the music. She continued after the music stopped.

We prayed and then sang "number 88" -Amazing Grace. Most of the people, even those sitting with their eyes closed, sang along. There are a few who are really "with it" and react to the message and to the prayers and to the music.

One lady takes "attendance" each week and tries to make sure that the staff knows its time so they get people in there for the service.

I found out the lady who bounced along with the music used to sing and dance and was the wife of a pastor. She came up close to me moving her wheel chair with her feet, and I sat down right next to her so we were face to face.

We sang some hymns as a group and I made eye contact with her as we sang. She nodded her head and smiled and after one song, softly said "very good." Then she started up her "babbling again" but I could tell she was trying to talk to me. We sang together and she didn't wander the whole time.

I held her hand and prayed with her and I could tell she was praying with me.

When I went around to the others there to touch their hands and speak with them, one lady, Maxine told me she needed prayers for her 64 year old son who is in the VA hospital. He was hurt badly while in the military (Viet Nam?) and has a lot of mental conditions from what she said. She was so sad and wondered out loud why people hurt each other... We prayed together and she made sure to know my name before I left. I should have given her one of my cards...

F was awesome, going around to everyone and talking with them. No one could believe she will be 91 this month.  It was a good way to spend the afternoon.

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