Monday, September 7, 2009

Take This Tune

Each week Jamie at Take This Tune posts a music video on Friday and asks us to respond to it on Monday. She is very generous in her terms, allowing people to muse upon whatever direction the video takes them. So far her videos have been provocative and inspiring! Thank you Jamie!

I have vague memories of Jimmy Durante from when I was a child. I recognize his gravelly voice and his pattern of speech, and I even remember that his caricature was always “the nose.” But I don’t know why I remember those things. My parents must have enjoyed his music or a television program and exposed us to him that way. They rarely took us to movies – there was no extra money to do so.

But, the minute I played the video from Take This Tune, I had a warm and happy feeling of revisiting a very safe time of childhood. And it was the aural response, not visual. I closed my eyes to listen to him sing that sweet song and reflected on the journey of life.

I know several ladies in their December period. I want to talk about three of them because the difference in their quality of life is enormous. One, “P”, is full of joy. She radiates happiness and love to everyone around her. She is involved in the ESOL ministry in our church, teaching and guiding. She takes good care of her health so she can do all of these things. She is also a beacon of light in her neighborhood. She is a wonderful grandmother to her own grandchildren as well as everyone else’s who are in her orbit. Her first thought is always for others and she's the most unselfish person I know -- yet it's not in a preachy "be like me" kind of way.

The second, “F”, is also very peaceful and mostly happy. She is a participant in Bible Study and continues to enjoy reading the Scriptures and helps with some children's programs in her church. But she is less involved in outreach ministries, and worries a lot about her health and her family members who aren’t believers in Christ.

The third, “D”, is bitter and unhappy. She does no charity or service work, and hasn’t for many years. She will write a check to a charity, but she doesn’t want to be bothered with actually doing anything. Her world has narrowed down to very few people who interact with her, mostly because of her toxic personality over the years. She is critical and judgmental. If you ask her about church she says she did that when she was young – in effect, she’s already paid her dues.

December can be very frightening depending on your perspective. I think "D" is frightened of what is to come. And while we as believers should feel some urgency to minister to her in this time of her life, she has wounded so many of us so many times, it is difficult to subject ourselves to it once again.

Jimmy Durante is long gone now, but if the persona he projected in this song reflects what he was like at the end, what a wonderful legacy for his family and fans. His sweet spirit makes me think of December with joy. My prayer is that I will be more like “P”, and less like “D”, and that I will bless those around me.



Jamie said...

It is amazing that those elders with the most open hearts and hands who receive the most joy in their lives. Whatever their problems might be, there are always those ready to be near them just like a warm fire in winter.

Anonymous said...

Well written my friend. I do like you take on this. And the caption on the photo of the Capital building is priceless :)

Quilldancer said...

I could have sworn I commented on this yesterday? ;) Anyway:

My Gram was a helper. She was generous and giving in every way and I am always proud when someone compares me favorably to her. I hope I always follow her lead and don't become bitter and angry.