I’m sitting beside a new person in choir this year. I don’t know her well, but I can tell that she is really enjoying the fellowship that choir offers. I’ve also sensed that she’s lonely. We have very little in common, other than we both like to sing and we both suffer with arthritis. She has freely shared about her life with me. She’s suffered through 8 surgeries mainly replacing major joints like her knees and hips. She lost her husband about 3 years ago, and then nearly died herself just 4 months later during a surgery. She’s had a bad time of it the past few years.
Tonight, when I went to choir and walked in, I was in an awesome mood! I was at my favorite place to be on a Thursday night! I stopped and chatted with some friends before I went to my seat. When I arrived at my seat, there she sat, crying. I quietly took my seat, not sure what to say or do.
“I’m not having a very good day today,” she sobbed.
Thinking of the things I’ve been learning as I develop my gift of encouragement, I answered, “What’s happening?”
“They moved my mom to a different nursing home today, and it’s terrible. I don’t understand why they felt they needed to move her. The place she’s at is dreadful. I don’t really want her there, and she’s blaming me for letting it happen. It wasn’t up to me, but she’s not understanding that,” she said, as a tear trickled down her cheek.
“Oh my, that’s sad,” I replied. The nurse in me started asking questions about her general health, where they had taken her, trying to assess what type of care the woman might get. It didn’t sound promising the way she described it.
“I want to take her somewhere else, somewhere she can feel more at home and less like she’s in a hospital.”
I offered some suggestions of good places I knew of for her to investigate.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have come here tonight,” she said. “I called Fred (our director) and told him I didn’t feel like I could come this evening, and he said I should, that it would help. I hope he’s right.”
“He is,” I replied. In my mind, I journeyed back 6 years to this same month, pretty close to this same week. I was just getting over the shock of losing our adopted son after having him home with us for 2 days. I was devastated. I wasn’t sure I could return to choir. But, I was encouraged to return. I believe choir saved me that year. “He is right,” I said again, because I knew it was true.
We started to sing our songs, and soon I was seeing a bit of a smile on her face. It was time for me to do my solo and after I did it, I sat back down. The director said that he wanted someone to be a prayer warrior for each soloist this year. She leaned over to me and said, “I’ll pray for you!” I was touched.
As we were leaving, she was in the lobby picking up invitation cards for our concerts. I felt a subtle tap on the shoulder. I knew who it was. “Yes, God?”
“Pray for her,” I heard Him speak.
I sat down my music and purse and went back in to her. “Can I pray for you before I leave?” I asked.
“Oh, would you?” she replied.
So there, in the middle of the lobby, we joined hands and I prayed for my sister in the faith. “I’m so glad I came this evening! Thank you,” she said. I reached out and hugged her. I didn’t know if she was a “huggy” type of person, but it didn’t matter to me…she needed a hug.
“I’m going to call some of those places you told me about first thing tomorrow. Thank you so much,” she said.
Thank you, Lord for prompting me to reach out to her and touch her heart.