While the majority of our team spent more time working at and around the School for the Blind, the mornings usually found me and a few of our team at the home for the aged, a nursing home/assisted living facility for 20 or so women in varying conditions of health.  

One morning, I was playing my guitar outside on the small porch by the sick bay along while Elijah played his cajon and Sam sang along.  Ms. Malcolm and Ms. Taylor (or Ms. Florence if you go by first name) were in their usual chairs and Ms. Taylor was gleefully clapping along with “I’ll Fly Away,” singing when she knew the words and adding in a “Praise God!” or an “Amen” when she didn’t.  Two verses and a couple of choruses into the song, another voice joined with mine, strong and rich.  I looked up and through the slatted windows, I could see the outline of the woman in the bed against the wall.  Lying down but with her hand lifted to God, she sang out, “I’ll fly away, o glory, I’ll fly away.  When I die, Hallelujah by and by.  I’ll fly away.”  Just for her, I sang the chorus a few more times, smiled to the ladies on the porch and went to find out to whom this glorious voice belonged.  I walked around the corner and met Ms. Pansy, a woman confined to her bed but full of Life.  Her eyes were lit up with the Joy only God can give and it was only later that I found out she was completely blind.  I complimented her voice, and she asked me how I liked Jamaica and Jamaicans.  She told me she had written some songs and sang a beautiful one that she had written about her beautiful country.  It was time to leave only a few minutes later and I asked what I might be able to pray for her about before we left.  She asked for health and strength and I wish to God that I had had the faith after our prayer to suggest she put her feet on the floor in belief of the Lord’s healing.  When I finished praying, she sang a departing blessing over me.  I don’t remember the words, but it was one of the sweetest prayers I’ve ever heard.

In one 5-minute interaction, Ms. Pansy has become one of the icons of this trip for me.  God, may I be so rich in Your Spirit that You bless others through me the way You blessed me through her.