This morning I had a chance to go to the Youth Street Reach breakfast in which youths from various churches gather to hear from our people who are experiencing homelessness. The kids cook breakfast, serve, and offer clothing to those who are in need. This is a wonderful ministry and one that helps to break down barriers and reduce the stigma of homelessness while encouraging compassion for all.
I was a little late to the event, but so glad to see so many people that I wanted to catch up with. Someone who recently said she had very little to live for was smiling, and eating at a table full of people. Someone who had been having trouble with food scarcity was enjoying a big breakfast. My friend from meditation group was perusing coats, and another from the hospital was enjoying a cup of hot coffee. It was good to see them all. Mid morning, a woman I knew from the shelter went over to the piano and set her fingers over the keys; “I used to know how to play this,” she said. And she gingerly pressed in….a slow and careful Jingle Bells emerged. Her left hand played stride as her right hand sought out the melody. It was glorious. I could tell it was in her bones! As she played, another frequent guest of these breakfasts came over, followed by several young people from Sandwich High School who were in the chorus. Suddenly there was a solo tenor with a gaggle of teenage girls backing him up in harmony, while my friend played along. The singers soon outpaced the pianist and she slid off the bench; “I’m out,” she said, “I can’t play as fast as they can sing.” I slid in and said I’d try to keep up. For the next 45 minutes I played and the group sang Irish folk songs and Christmas songs. It was a hoot! I was so glad I was able to support their singing and be a small part of the magic that is Youth Street Reach breakfasts.
I used to shy away from being Pam the Pianist. I wanted to be Rev. Pam, not the music lady. But today reminded me to integrate all of the God given gifts that I have and to live into these gifts in wonderful, spontaneous and life-giving ways. Today was a blessing, more for me I think! It was a pretty perfect day.