Monday, December 16, 2013

"The Little Drummer Boy" made me cry

We had a neat opportunity last week. The mother of my dear friend is in a nearby assisted living facility, and each Christmas, the residents put on a show for family and friends. I find that in spite of a certain amount of randomness, mumbling, and "not-quite-with-the-tune/pitch/key-ness", it gives me much more real holiday spirit than any polished professional show on TV.

This year I noticed they had two gentlemen in the front row, shaking bells. I watched them a lot over the evening, and leaned over and mentioned to my brother that one of them had been a drummer. He NEVER lost the rhythm--never wandered, never sagged, faltered or strayed (THAT could not to be said of the other gentleman!). As a former chorister, I know that is MUCH harder than it looks to do! I am fairly certain he had had a stroke--and that he was now non-verbal. I am very attuned to the non-verbal!

As one of the very last songs, they brought out a snare drum, and introduced this gentleman as Clarence, and announced that he would be featured as they sang "The Little Drummer Boy"--a song that has never filled me with Christmas Cheer, but does occasionally make me gag. She also said "I bet you didn't know that Clarence used to play in a band professionally, and has made several records!", which didn't surprise me at all!

So, for the first time in my life, the reality of the gift that was being offered on the words "I played my drum for Him...I played my best for Him" made me cry. Because many gifts of the heart are offered silently (or with drums!) and are easy to overlook!

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