In a sermon I related a story about the great Albert Schweitzer and how he loved to play Bach on the organ. Even while Schweitzer was serving as a surgeon in the steamy jungles of Africa, he loved music.
One evening, as one of his nurses was preparing to leave Lamborine, he stood at the gangplank preparing to bid her good-bye. As he took her hand he said, “Before you go, I want to recall an incident that happened several months ago. One night you took a sick baby into your own bedroom so that you could care for it even as you slept. All through the night I heard cries coming from your room. Finally in the wee hours of the morning, the tone in the baby’s cry changed. Immediately I knew that the fever had broken and that the child would get better. I’m supposed to be something of a musician but I want you to know that was the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard.”
About a week after I preached that sermon I received a letter from a lady who had been in the congregation. She wrote: “I am a hospice nurse and sometimes it is difficult to relate to people because of different temperaments, lifestyles, and frustrations. Please know that when I’m sitting up with an unwed mama holding her dying infant singing ‘Amazing Grace’ (slightly off key) or kissing the hand of an AIDS patient or softly answering the verbal abuse of a drug addict or stroking the patient with end-stage liver disease, that you, preacher, are part of the gentle message that Jesus cares.”
“Inasmuch as you have done it for one of the least of these, my brothers, you have done it for me” (Matthew 25:40),