Tuesday, December 8, 2009
.: The Gift of LoVe :. [Reflections] Tis' the season
Sunday afternoon: After a long Sunday full of singing and giving praise and honor to God I was exhausted. I hadn't gotten much sleep the night before because I was wired at 12:00 a.m. after taking a mini-nap around 7:00 p.m. that evening. I looked over to my mom and asked "Mom, did we consider the fact that we had to sing 2 services before going out caroling this evening?" Mom replies: "I did, I don't know about you" Did Mom just play me?
You see, every year our Sunday School department goes Christmas caroling around to a few of the nursing homes in the area. Back in the day, my mom would drag us out there. I didn't have a strong appreciation for it then, but boy has my perception changed.
We were to meet at 2:30 on the church parking lot. I hadn't eaten all day so I was already in a mood. So my Auntie Elaine offered up some cash to take me to get something to eat so that I can get through the trip, well as long as I picked her up something to eat as well. So off I went to McDonald's. As I returned to the church, I watched who was getting out of their cars to get on the bus and participate in the activity. As more and more people came, Mom and I were relieved and jokingly said, "well they have plenty of people, they don't need us." Then as we kept looking, we realized that these were people that were willing to participate, but were not people that typically sing and openly admitted that they can not carry a tune, but with the right spirit, you'd be amazed at what you can do!
We had three stops to make, 3 nursing homes to spread holiday cheer to. We had dozens upon dozens of people to meet, greet, and sing to. So we embarked on our journey promptly at 2:30. I told my mom, we won't be done until 5:30 p.m. she laughed and said, nooo we'll be done by 4 I laughed as I pulled out of the parking lot, shaking my head at my mother who really believed what she said. So we headed out. 1 Church van, 3 SUV's, and 2 cars...As soon as we pulled out, we found ourselves separated by lights. This was going to be a long day. Finally, after 20 min of driving around in circles behind the church van, we arrive at The Washington House.
We walk in and they hand us a song book and they turn to me and my mother waiting for their next direction. I'm sorry, when did we become in charge of this? What in the world?! Lol moving on...There was a crowd of elders in the lobby awaiting our arrival. We started off with Joy to the World. We also brought small gifts to hand out to the elders. We handed out socks, hats, and gloves. The look on their faces were priceless. They were filled with such joy and excitement and appreciation. This was the greeting and reaction received throughout the course of the afternoon. We walked the halls caroling. There were some that were able to come to the door and they would sing along with us. There were some that were unable to move but would send a wave or a huge smile our way as a thank you.
Each nursing home gave me a different memory to take home:
The Washington House-- There was a lady that got off the elevator in her wheel chair. The nurse just rolled her out into a crowd of Ninjas singing. The dialogue went as follows:
Nurse: Do you know where you are?
Lady: Yeah, I think so. [The lady was looking down and didn't realize what she had just been rolled into]
The lady looks up, and then she yells
Lady: Wait, where am I? Where's my room?
Nurse: Would you like me to take you to your room?
Lady: Yes, please!
Apparently she had not seen that many black folk at one time...I guess she was caught off guard. Lol
Envoy--There were 2 Shiloh members that lived there. This place had me in tears, literally!
As we entered the Dining Hall, there was Sister Dorothy Scott in tears! I couldn't finish the song! This was one of the elders of our church. She taught me Sunday School when I was 2 years old. She would always tell me stories about it. So when she saw so many familiar faces, she was filled with emotion and so was I. The other people that were in the dining hall were also excited about the visit as well. They were singing and laughing. There was even a man that told one lady in our group that he wanted her for Christmas. Lol Man, gotta love a sense of humor :)
There was also another lady at Envoy that had me in stitches lol. When we gave her the gift, she asked "Is this a prize? Does this mean that I'm going to heaven?" So touching and she was so serious.
Woodbine-- There was also another Shiloh member staying there. She was smiling and laughing and seemed really happy to see us. She remembered who I was. She hadn't seen me since I was really young. I remember Ms. Ernestine when she was a member of the Sanctuary Choir. Most of you new Shiloh members weren't around for that choir.
The funniest thing though, had to be when we handed the socks to one lady and her reply was "What kind of S*** is this?"--Lol HILARIOUS!
All in all, it was a good trip. It was a great chance for me to spend some time with moms as well as an opportunity for me to reflect on my own life and to be grateful for what I have. Love, support, and family.
This trip taught me the true meaning of this season. It's not just about the Christmas trees, the presents, the lights. Instead, it's about the gift of life, and love. It's about the birth of our savior and how we are to love others as Christ loves us.
At the end of the day, as the clock struck 5:30 p.m. [I told my mom that's what time we'd be done!] and as I stood there with hurt feet from walking in 3.5 in. heels around the nursing homes, as I thought about getting lost, or how hungry I was, it all went away. None of that mattered anymore...What mattered were the smiles across everyone's faces. The laughter, the singing, the dancing. That's all that mattered.
So I challenge you this season not to get caught up in the hype of Christmas but to instead remember the real reason for the season.
Give the gift of Christ and love to someone this season, all season.
Give the gift of Eternal life...You never know whose life you can touch!
I love you all...
Have a blessed Holiday Season and Enjoy your week!
.: LA :.
Oh, and for the next week I can NOT hear the following songs: Silent Night, Joy to the World, O Come All Ye Faithful, Deck the Halls, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, or Jingle Bells...I'm all jingled and all caroled out!