Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Food for the Soul

Music has always been important to me. Regardless where I am in life I can always count on a song to touch my heart. When I can’t find words to describe how I feel I can always find a song that covers it all. So many times I have turned to music to heal my heart, to encourage my soul, and to find strength to face the day. I played the violin for over 15yrs until a car accident took my ability to play it any longer. When I found out that I wasn’t going to be able to continue to play I was heartbroken and was desperate to find another outlet. I always loved to sing and dance as well, but in the accident those things changed too. I have been able to write poems which helped. Music though has the power to change people.
In times of sadness, celebration, and even anger I can turn to music to soothe my soul. Not only does music speak to the soul, it can bring back memories so sweet and even ones that aren’t so good. Music can connect people from all over the world regardless of the language spoken. Music is the universal language and can be understood by all.

A few years back I had the chance to go on a mission trip to St. Louis MO and we went to a nursing home where we had a chance to spend time with those facing their last days there. These particular people had no family or anyone that would come and visit. I had the chance to take part in a sensory group where these people would go to simulate their senses. Most of them were not able to communicate in any way and were in a vegetated state, but when I put the cd in that was old style St. Louis jazz praise music I saw life come to the lifeless. Heads start bobbing, feet start taping, smiles came to their faces, and even tears were shed.

My heart melted as I saw them with new life even if it was for a short time. Two of my favorite stories about that time were about two ladies I met in that groups. One all she wanted me to do was help lift her arms so she could praise Jesus and the other was put in corner to be forgotten. Sally was her name. The nurse told me not to worry about her because there was no hope for her and that she couldn’t communicate. As I glanced over I saw her head ever so softly moving to the beat. There was life in her so why would the nurse say something so cruel. I went over and introduced myself to her and her head stop as she slightly tilted her head my way. She was such a beautiful black lady with hair as white as snow. You could tell that she was blind and was missing her left leg. I started asking her questions and she would lightly shake her head yes or no. I sat by her and took her hand. She tightly clenched my hand as tears started flowing from her eyes. I just sat there and stroked her hand softly as I prayed for her. After a bit her hand started moving to the beat and our hands danced. My heart broke for those people, especially Sally. When it was time to go I had to turn the music off and I watched each and every one of them go back to their vegetated state. Music heals, brings life, and inspires.

I cannot imagine life without it. In our house it seems like somewhere someone is playing a song or singing one. One of my favorite ways to wake up my kids is to sing good morning to them (the singing in the rain version.) What a beautiful sound to hear my children go around the house singing. I have been so blessed. A number of my kids have been in musicals in their school and were in the choir. They were with a wonderful choir teacher that has inspired them in so many ways. She has encouraged them and through her class they found an outlet through song. I want to take the opportunity to thank her. So thank you Marie Hayden-Huerta for your heart, your love for music, and the love for the kids and for inspiring them to be their best. I have enjoyed hearing them practice, and practice, and practice the same song over and over and over again. You have made a difference in my home by making a difference in the lives of my children.

Music has had a special place in my heart and has been a way God has communicated His love for me. I can’t tell you how many times God has touch my heart through song. I have found comfort, direction, and conviction through various songs. I am so glad that in this life we can turn to music in the good times and bad.

Even if there is an irritating song that gets stuck in your mind it can bring joy. Some of our first ways we communicate with our children is through song. I want to challenge you to share a song with someone today, who knows it might just put a smile on their face.

May God bless you with a song in your heart.
Trish Iiams

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