Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Day of Caroling

Yesterday we went out on our annual Christmas Caroling expedition. Our first stop was scheduled for 9:30 AM at the rest home on Garfield. We reluctantly pulled our weary bodies out of our warm beds nice and early and scrambled to get ready to go. We had to stop and pick up Sherry and kids and then head over to the Gallagher's. The kids grabbed an apple out the door and Felecia read us the Bible while I drove and then we prayed together. Before I left, I e-mailed a few people and asked them to pray for us. When we arrived at the first home they were all waiting for us. Some of the faces I recognized from last year, some were new. Brother Andy introduced us and then we sang and a few of them joined in. The kids did solos on the piano and harp.
I gave a testimony and invitation to Jesus Christ and then we sang our grand finale: I'll Never Miss Heaven for the World. All went well. The overseer of the place thanked us profusely saying how she remembers us from last year and how much she appreciates us. The kids passed out candy canes to everyone and the general feeling was good. Now it was off to stop number two- the rest home on FO where Sister B. stays.
When we arrived they were not as ready for us, but Sister Glenda played on the harp while some of the residence gathered in. We went through the same process except Sherry testified in the end this time.

I had thought we were scheduled for three homes but found out this was the last one. So we went to eat and then decided to go visit Zoya. After our visit with her we headed out to Mercy Folsom Hospital.
By this time I was so extremely tired and was beginning to grumble within myself. We had included the hospital last year when Sherry had requested it, but this wasn't what we normally did. So this year when they asked us to come back, I was not overly eager. But we had decided to go ahead and now as I headed down the overly trafficky roads into Folsom I felt irritated. I just wanted to go home. I was so tired I had a hard time keeping my eyes opened.
When we arrived Sherry led us to the floor where she works and there we began to knock on doors and ask people if they would like us to carol to them. The general response was very positive although a few declined. But I was unprepared for the responses we would receive in this very intimate deliverance of song. The patience looked amazed as we all squeezed into the rooms followed by a big beautiful harp. As Sister Glenda began playing it and our voices lifted, blended in harmony, praying inwardly for God's Holy Spirit to fill the room, hearts were moved. Most of the patience cried. One elderly man got on the phone and called his wife beaming "Honey I got a whole choir in my room right now. Would you like to hear them?". One lady that was visiting someone came and told us she remembered us from a rest home where she had seen us singing last year while visiting her aunt. Her aunt had since passed on. She asked where we were from. We told her the Church of God in Carmichael. Another elderly lady sobbed and kept asking for one more song. We ended hers with "Tell Me the Story of Jesus". She told us that we had brought warmth to her heart. I clasped her chilly hands and let her know our hearts were warmed too. A male patient was out walking with what appeared to be his wife and two little daughters and they stopped to listen and thanked us too. Brother Andy prayed over a few of the patience. It was sad and yet so joyful, so beautiful, so what Christmas, LIFE should be.
On my way home my heart glowed with warmth and love. But I was also chastened that I had ever inwardly complained about going. I told God I was sorry. It is such a blessing to work for Him. We were all exhausted when we got home but oh so blessed.
This morning while I was outside I looked around at the beauty around me, and was so filled with the love of God I could scarce hold back the tears. God is good. The earth is filled with the goodness of God. It is the goodness of God that leadeth thee to repentance. These thoughts flooded my mind. The fire in my heart for the love of God lept and crackled. What a beautiful God we serve!


Tammy said...

What a great and humbling experience! I was touched over 700 miles away and I didn't even hear you guys singing. I am so proud to have you as a sister. Have a great holiday!

Anonymous said...

That was certainly alot of fun! I'm glad we were able to fit at least one caroling day into our hectic schedules this year. I really felt bad for the first old man we sang for that was all by himself. I hated to leave! I'm glad we have something to offer to the suffering!

Hopefully I'll get my own edition of the day up on my blog soon...before we head "down south for the winter" rebekahism:-).


Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by and God bless you all in your labor of love and planting a good seeds of God.

Felecia said...

That was a blessing to be able to sing for those people - everyone! It was a fun day . . . it's good to laugh when you haven't laughed so hard for a while!