The Piano Gathering

It started out as just another routine night of walking the halls and checking doors and windows. I’m the assistant manager of an ‘over fifty-five’ senior condominium community and many nights it falls to me to check all three floors to make sure the building is secure for the evening.

As I made my rounds last Saturday, I heard a group of people on the 3rd floor engaged in a sing-a-long with the karaoke machine. I stopped to listen for a minute and nodded a friendly greeting to a few familiar faces before moving on to complete my rounds.

My evening ritual of ‘closing up the building’ is part of my daily exercise routine (thanks to the many hallways and stairwells) and I usually look forward to making sure all is well in the building.

But tonight was different. My husband was out of town on business for a few days and our cozy little apartment felt especially empty and quiet. I was missing him and feeling quite lonely as I made my rounds. It seemed like I was aimlessly wandering the halls – hoping to delay the inevitable return to our empty apartment and avoid a second night in solitary confinement with my lonely heart.

As I finished my rounds and returned to the third floor, I noticed the singers had migrated to the piano and were singing hymns. Over the past year, I had been invited to join them on several occasions but never had the time or desire. After all, these were people from a different generation and though I love these ‘golden-agers’ who occupy our building, I tend to avoid too much involvement and often gravitate toward ‘being friendly’ without becoming a friend.

Maybe it was the empty apartment or my lonely heart, but tonight something drew me to their little group. I cautiously stepped up to the piano and listened. Before long, I found myself joining in.

As we sang, I noticed an older gentleman singing with tears in his eyes. One woman sang with a beautiful smile radiating from her face and another closed her eyes and listened with an other-worldly look of pure peace and contentment on her face. Here was a group of seasoned saints from a previous generation who knew how to worship God – how to lift their voices together in joyous song and be blessed.

They had no idea what a blessing they were that evening – to someone like me who was in desperate need of their joyful hymns and harmonious spirits. But God knew. It was just a little thing but the gathering at the piano was God’s way of caring for me. Who would have known that standing around a piano with a bunch of 70, 80, and 90 year-old people would be exactly what I needed? Only God.