Storytime: Unplanned Benefits of Playing Music


Last week the bass player in my new group asked me to play in a situation I had never before. His church was hosting a group of homeless men each night this week. Feeding them, offering hair care, entertainment, etc. He asked if we might have our weekly practice at the church building to entertain the visitors. I quickly said I’d love to, not at all aware of what sort of effect it might have on me or the visitors.

Last night on the way to the building, I found myself feeling anxious, but excited. I wondered how the music would be received. Mostly, I just reminded myself to be open to anything.

After practicing for an hour or so, the vans began to arrive. And for the next hour and a half we were able to play our music for a group of homeless men. They applauded. They joked. They sat, rapt at the music they heard. Privately, they discussed some of their feelings with Dave while Lisa and I did a few songs ourselves.

Today I receive an e-mail from Dave with some of the content of those discussions. He mentioned that a few of the men indicated that they appreciated the songs. They were easy to understand and had a relevant meaning. The following is a quote from the same e-mail:

“Many of these guys that I have had conversation with each night this week indicated, they were “just like me” (hope that was meant as a good thing) when they were younger but had just taken their eyes of of God and started to direct their own steps and bang! This is where they are. Interesting find in all of this, not one man has asked for anything more than what we have provided and not one man has blamed God for their misfortune. Quite the contrary, they blame only themselves.”

And here I thought WE were the ones providing the service and giving out the lessons…