Hart to Hearts: Hope Emerges from Singing Together

Last Sunday, I had the joy of sitting in worship without having a single task to perform.  I got to sing, say our unison words and simply drink in the message and our beautiful worship space.  The singing is an important part for me.  Throughout my adult life, I’ve loved to sing, and often feel uplifted when singing hymns in church.

Over 30 years ago, while driving home to Maryland I stopped to call my mother and learned that she was in the hospital.  The cancer in her spine had eaten through a vertebrae and she was paralyzed.  She wanted to see me that night.  The friend I was traveling with drove, as I curled up in the passenger seat and sang the benediction from the congregation I attended at the time.

Years later, a beloved congregant was in the hospital but was asleep when I arrived.  She had been mostly dozing for a few days, the end of her life was approaching.  I always had knitting with me in those days, so I pulled it out, drew a chair nearby and sat as my hands took up the rhythm of the of the stitches and starting singing “Spirit of Life”.  I followed that we a half a dozen hymns that I know by heart.  The music connected us even if she didn’t know.

On Sunday, I found myself swaying and singing with joy to our closing song “Blue Boat Home”.  Knowing it is a favorite of many members of the congregation, and feeling the energy in the room, I was held and healed and felt hope.  Music — and for me singing together — gives us strength and hope.

Sing along!  You can find Peter Mayer’s “Blue Boat Home” and view some lovely images here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtZUM0JhLvc