The Power of a Song

The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him. Exodus 15:2

Never underestimate the power of music. No matter how plain (or just plain off key!) there is a force that flows just below the surface of the notes. A melody is a lot like one of the stones in David’s sling in the Bible story. Goliath had a serious size advantage over the puny teen-aged David. In spite of Goliath’s awesome armor and weaponry, the power of one smooth stone guided by God’s hand was able to penetrate his defenses. Music can be an armament for good if we ask God to guide it to ears that long to hear from Him.

I discovered the simple power of music from two dear shut-in friends, William and his wife Joaquina. For about two years I visited them every Wednesday afternoon and came to affectionately call them “Mom and Dad”. William began to slowly lose the use of his arms, then his legs and he became confined to his bed and recliner. William loved to hear the hymns especially the lively ones.  But William didn’t only listen to music. He found that he could still whistle a tune so one of his pass-times was to whistle to his  parakeets whose cage sat in the corner of the living room. Whenever William whistled the parakeets chirped loudly. Near the end of William’s life his family filmed a brief video of his two parakeets hopping on his chest while William whistled a song. In the battle of his life William still used the smallest melody to fight.

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For those, who like myself, have chosen to do nursing home ministry, I would encourage you to prioritize music. Music’s purpose is often unrecognized and its value underestimated but in its proper place it has the power to touch the hearts and minds of people as nothing else. Whether you are an accomplished musician or an amateur. Simply share the songs of the church  and God’s message will take wings and fly!

Excerpt from Music Matters in Nursing Home Ministry:

Music Matters in Nursing Home Ministry

Music Matters

 

 

Grace Notes

If we keep our ears and minds open it is amazing at who God can use to give us music lessons. A few years ago I used to stop by with my guitar to visit an elderly couple who couldn’t make it out to church anymore because of the husband’s health. But whether it was sunny or pouring rain, warm or in the middle of a snow storm, their two little parakeets would always sing. A few brief chords from my guitar and an opening note or two were all it took to stir them into full song. On rare occasions, when they were out of the cage I felt the brush of wings passing near my head as they flew past. They would pass close by me then quickly fly up to the highest point above the kitchen cabinets where they would perch and watch the show from their balcony seats!

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Their continual singing reminded me that in Heaven, in the presence of the King of Kings there are angels constantly praising and worshiping. The Bible tells us that they do not stop either day or night. We have here on earth an opportunity that the angels will never have. In heaven it never rains and the angels are never hunger, sick or tired. They sing because the beauty of the Lord’s Holy presence fills their hearts but we can be like my feathered choir members who sing whatever comes. Don’t be surprised as you close your eyes, if you feel the brush of wings passing by. It might be that God’s angels dip down to catch the sound of our grace notes and they fly off to their high places again and to sing!