During Holy Week, Paul pretty much just does services and visitations. He visits shut-ins and people in the hospital. Yesterday he went to visit a woman who is about our age, he said, but who is mentally disabled. She has the mind of about a one year old. The first time he visited her she just sat on the floor and didn't engage with him at all. He's not discouraged by this behaviour, and would have visited her again regardless, but he did have the great idea of bringing his guitar along this time. He said she was the same, not engaging at all, until he brought the guitar out. Then her eyes lit up and she came alive! She came over and participated in the music. She thumped on the top of the guitar, which sounds like a drum, so Paul thought next time he'd like to bring a drum (or several, because the nurses brought 3 other people over when he started playing!) so she could play with him.
I don't know what it is about music, but there is something magical about it. I think even people who are not musically talented feel the power of it. When something moves me deeply, very often it has been accompanied by music. It has a way of transmitting the message you want to convey in a deeply emotional way. I can't think of many religions that don't use music in their worship. It has the power to take us to a different place than our ordinary, daily lives.
It's just too bad we don't often share music in our everyday lives. Paul has never seemed to feel embarrassed to sing in public, just walking down the street, but I think he's an exception. Wouldn't it be great if we all felt comfortable singing to each other, just as we feel comfortable in talking to each other? Tears are another thing that's not very acceptable in public. I wonder if those two go together.
I decided to rest my own singing voice this morning in church, so I can hopefully have some left for the rest of the week. But it just about killed me not to even sing the "kyrie eleisons". Instead, I tried to focus on the beautiful music that was being made by the other chanters.