Finding God in our local convalescent hospital is a delight for me on a weekly basis. During the summers when I am not teaching high school English, I drag my huge standup bass and play in the Four Church Band. That’s my name for a group of four people who “take church” to the seniors who call Eastern Plumas District Hospital in Loyalton, California, their home.
We’re the Four Church Band, because each of us goes to a different church. That doesn’t seem to matter at all to us or to our fellow worshippers, who include my dear friend Sadie, an African-American woman who wears winter gloves even during the summer to fight off “Arthuritis.” I love her positive interjections every few words during the devotion, because they remind me of her younger days when she sat in the back corner in our white clapboard church and “amen-ed” her way through a sermon.
We sing the old time gospel hymns–all the verses–and the testimony of God’s love and provision and faithfulness shines through those well-penned lines.
The smile of God is also evident on the faces of the elderly believers. I always leave that place filled up with the joy that spills out of those lovely folks, with echoes of God’s Word from the old hymns, and with the peace that my friends and I have been able to fellowship with some dear old saints.
While some might find a convalescent hospital a dreary place, I’m finding God there every time I visit. Perhaps you would enjoy one of my favorite songs that we sing each week–“I’ll Fly Away”–in this version by Gillian Welch:
Janet Holm McHenry is a speaker and author of 19 books, including PrayerWalk and Prayerstreaming. When she’s not playing the bass or chasing her eight grandchildren, she teaches teaching high school English and dreams up new books to write. Learn more about prayerwalking at www.janetmchenry.com, or Janet’s blog, http://janetmchenry.wordpress.com.