This afternoon, I joined my dad at The Woodlands for their weekly hymn-singing. Dad is the senior adult pastor at his church, and has been leading the residents of this local assisted living community in singing their favorite hymns for years, and it's such a privilege that I am able to join him (one that I aim to not take for granted).
At first, it was to serve as a way for me to "get my feet wet" in playing the harp for a smallish group of senior citizens, playing a song here and there in between the hymns. For the past few weeks, though, I've begun to try my hand at playing along with the singing and with Dad's piano accompaniment. It's quite the challenge, as I am no great sight reader, but it's fun! It's like a game of keeping up and figuring out the best chords as I go along--exercising the part of my brain that's used for spontaneity, and I love it.
I also love the camaraderie that's present when we gather with the handful of residents in the little chapel at The Woodlands. It's one of my favorite aspects of old-time church life: a simple, stripped-down sense of togetherness, all cozy, and carried by the old hymns. No one's there to impress anyone, but to share the simple, yet profound joy of singing familiar songs of faith together. Few things give me more of a sense of being at home than such moments.
What's more, it's a time when I can watch and listen to my dad playing piano and leading the room in singing. Dad would never call himself a pianist, but he can certainly lead a group in song, and it's such a pleasure to experience! He is, and always will be, my favorite worship leader. I should get him to play more at home, when I visit...
Welcome! Writing helps me untangle a bit of the mess and sharpen my focus. Join me as I chronicle my journey to become a full-fledged therapeutic harpist.