I trudged into church that Sunday morning, late, not really wanting to be there. When I got there, the worship team was singing away and the heaviness and resistance I came in just melted away. The congregation was bigger than usual that Sunday and I could not help notice the old, bald man sitting at the front row, playing a harmonica. I smiled to myself, thinking it had been ages since I’d seen one of those let alone someone play one. Although the standing mic was close to where he sat, directly in front of him, I could not hear a note of the harmonica. Yet, he kept it to his lips, playing away, perhaps oblivious to the fact that the greater congregation could not hear him. As I let myself free in His presence I forgot about the old man and his harmonica. Soon the preaching began and before I knew it the service was almost to an end. I was truly glad when they said let’s go to the house of the Lord. I was blessed to be there. Blessed more than I could have been if I had sat home and allow the negative wave that threatened to engulf me have its way and maybe more so than stay home and watching sermons on YouTube. Yes, I tried to talk myself out from going that Sunday. As we were about to close, the Pastor asked the man with the harmonica to play something from the old hymnals. He nodded his agreement and tried to stand. One of the men from the congregation rushed to his side, presumably to help him get his footing. After taking the mic, he thanked Pastor for having him play throughout the worship and spoke briefly about himself. I felt my heartstrings pulling as he shared how grateful he was to be a part of the service, rarely having the opportunity to get out of the elderly home he lived in especially since he was blind and had no family to visit him. The elderly home he lived in was his home and the residents, the workers and the church groups that visited the home occasionally, he deemed his family.
And as he played Amazing Grace, he played it differently. He played it as it if was the best he had to give. And He played it with pride and passion, grateful to have something to give His Lord. He couldn’t do much but He would do what he could with his harmonica. There was not a dry eye in the sanctuary. You could tell that this man was a worshipper. This man had been through some stuff and this man was honoured to give praises to His King. He was glad when they said let us go to the house of the Lord. It made me think at reflect at my personal selfishness. Sure I had my stresses and issues but it should not have caused me to not want to be in His presence. I have more than enough. I have my health, I have a handful of people who I know genuinely love me, I have my sight and my youth. I have….., I have…….. I have. And now I have this man etched in my memory. The way he worshipped with all he had in him, they way he expressed his gratitude not for what he had or did not have, bit just because his redeemer lives. Lord, help me to have that blind sort of love and commitment to you.