Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Magical Moment 391, "A Message of Song"

I count myself fortunate every single day that I'm able to do what I love, make music. Playing for ballet rehearsals has made me a more professional, well-rounded pianist. Performing my original music at local venues has made me a better, more confident entertainer. But what I LOVE doing the most, is playing for a small, intimate audiences at nursing homes, retirement homes, or hospitals.

I began playing in local nursing homes in college and discovered that I felt the most comfortable and inspired in this setting. My taste and style in music seemed to be a perfect fit for the crowd and I never felt more fulfilled at the end of a performance than when I played in these places. 

Since becoming involved with a charity organization called Sing For Hope, I've been fortunate enough to contribute my music in bedside performances in New York City hospitals. With my voice, guitar, and an audience of one, I have the opportunity to uplift a sick patient, and the magic never fails to deliver. Today was no exception. All the aspects of music and performing that I love came together when I played a song for one woman in the oncology wing.

Myself and another performer timidly entered the hospital room with a gentle knock. The woman was sitting upright in her bed, head down. "Hello," I began quietly, "I was wondering if I could play a song for you tonight." Before I finished the sentence, I caught sight of her face. She was crying. There were no sobs or trembles, only wet, steady tears streaming down her cheeks.
She nodded and whispered, "That would be fine."

The only song I could think of to play for her was one called "Sparrow," an original of mine. I wrote the song because I deal with worry, anxiety, and fear, and constantly have to remind myself that God takes care of the sparrows. Surely He'll take care of me. 

I've had fear in my heart for way too long. And I've convinced myself that it's not wrong. But Lord I know that when I'm honest, I read it long ago. It said, 'You need not worry my child for I watch the sparrow.' 
I believe that You can calm a raging sea. Lord, I remember every time You've taken care of me. So take this worry and throw it far from my heart. Never to return, faith like a child. Today it starts.

Sparrow! Sparrow! The sparrow doesn't worry about the food he eats. So how much more should I believe You'll take care of me?

All the fear inside is too great a burden to bear. Even the flower doesn't worry about what she's gonna wear. So teach me a lesson from these creatures so trusting and so free. I'll rest my cares in You as You take care of me.

Sparrow! Sparrow! The sparrow doesn't worry about the food he eats. So how much more should I believe You'll take care of me?

I sang the song softly while clumsily strumming the chords on my clunky guitar. I really wanted her to hear each word, I didn't even care if my voice sounded pretty, I just wanted her to hear the words. When I was finished, she again wiped water from her face and said, "That's exactly the message I needed to hear today." And that was it. She was not interested in conversation or being verbally consoled. 

I left her room in silence. My heart swelled with many emotions; empathy for the woman's pain, gratefulness that one of my songs comforted her, and astonishment for the way God orchestrates every situation. It was a feeling that surpassed any performance I could ever hope to have. The best venue in New York City tonight, was a hospital room on the 9th floor.

Other magical hospital moments:

"Sparrow" by Elizabeth Grimes, Copyright 2009

6 comments:

Dawn said...

Beautiful Elizabeth.
Your talent is not only a blessing for you- but to others as well.
Lovely.
Thank you for sharing this!

Rick said...

Thanks Elizabeth - a beautiful and inspirational song, and a heart-warming story.

"When I was sick, you visited me ...". You gave a beautiful gift today.

Steve Gravano said...

Beautiful song and moment. I went to a senior home to take photos of a high school choir around the holiday a number of years ago. There's a lot of emotion in there. I would hear all sorts of excuses for children that didn't visit. I would hear "how busy my son is, it's hard to come all the way here, or I don't want my grandchildren to see such a depressing place." It was hard to be there. Thanks for sharing.

Linda said...

You have a good heart, Elizabeth. Our Lord said: "...Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." May He bless you for using your talent to minister to the hurting.

Paul C said...

What a wonderful gesture of service to the community. Poignant and heart warming reflection.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

Dawn, you're so sweet to say that. Thank you.

Rick, but it was me who got the gift!

Steve, I know just what you mean. It breaks my heart as well. Those places and people need love and outreach. I think that is where a big part of my passion lies.

Linda, thanks for sharing that Scripture. It's important to remember that He gave us our gifts and it's only fitting to use them for His purpose.

Paul, thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.