In a pain-filled week of human suffering it would have been easy to think that there wasn't much more to life than that. It we let them, news reports of war, gang rape, killing sprees and more can dominate the air waves and deaden the soul. How precious, then, tender moments of love.
I had one of those this week and it continues to warm my heart. Here's how it came about: each month I play the piano at one or both of our local senior care facilities. This week it happened I was scheduled to entertain in a ward dedicated to residents in the advanced stages of dementia. A number of them gather round the piano where I play and sing the old time songs. One lovely Scottish lady with an incredibly beautiful voice rarely misses a word or a note but it always brings joy to hear any of them join in, even if just sporadically.
Then came the beauty of the unexpected: Though my Scottish friend sat soundless, and smiling wistfully, another who has always insisted that she can't sing, suddenly appeared at my left elbow, accompanied by an aide. "I can't sing very well" she muttered. "That doesn't matter," I assured her. Her face cracked wide with a glorious smile as from her mouth, music poured. The pitch and melody were nearly flawless; gaps in the flow of words didn't matter. It's a good thing I can play without music because my eyes were blinded with tears. If that wasn't enough, a later rendition of "Could I Have this Dance" brought a long-time couple to the floor. I played the song repeatedly as they waltzed their way around the room. Their tender looks and warm embrace re-opened my tear ducts.
Precious, these tender moments of joy. Cultivate them. Treasure them. Amen.