Music Has the Power...

    He read a few verses from the Bible and told a couple of stories, but what brought the light into their clouded eyes, what caused them to sway in their wheelchairs and tap their toes, what brought smiles of recognition to their faces were the songs that he sang.  As the words and music to old gospel hymns like "Rock of Ages," "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," "Blessed Assurance," and "In the Garden" filled up the dining room of the nursing home, the residents who had come to the church service were transformed. 

    Those who minutes before probably couldn't tell you what day it was or perhaps not even their own names were singing the lyrics to the songs they had grown up hearing in church. Memories from long ago were triggered by the familiar notes coming from the piano keys. Some sang out in loud clear voices, some mumbled the words, some sang beautifully, some sang off-key, but they sang.  

    The music touched them in ways that it seems nothing else can.  Their spirits were lifted, their eyes filled with light, and smiles appeared on faces where I've never seen smiles before.  If you ever question or wonder about the healing power of music, I hope that you will someday get the opportunity to visit a church service at a nursing home the way that I did today, as I have done before.  

    Listening to and singing along with that music changed those people, if only for a short while.  The hope and peace that the music brought to them settled over the room in a way that was nearly palpable.  There was a sense of community and belonging and togetherness among those who were singing. In a place that is often filled with sadness, loneliness, and depression, it was a soft glow of joy.

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Music Has the Power...

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