For some people, worship in church is the best way to raise their spirits. For others, nothing is more uplifting than heartfelt music. But for people like David, music and faith are inseparable.
“I’m here every day, not just on Sundays,” David tells me when I stopped to talk to him outside of a chapel in Campbell, a suburb of San Jose, where I am visiting an aunt. “Music is how I worship, and with this guitar I bring light to others.”
David’s Life Story
Taking a break from playing his soulful music, David tells me a bit about his life. He rarely went to church as a child. In fact, it wasn’t until he lost his job and his house that he began to seriously ponder a deeper meaning in life. A local church offered hot meals on Wednesday evenings, so at first he went just for food for his body. After awhile, however, he found that the church could offer sustenance for his soul.
“They were really kind,” David recalls. “It was because of the volunteers that I made the connection between faith and music.” One day he was talking to Paul, a regular volunteer, about his lifelong love of music. Paul’s son had a guitar that was collecting dust in the closet, so Paul decided to give this guitar to David. This gift was life-changing for a man who had few other possessions to call his own.
It had been a long time since David had picked up a guitar, but he got the hang of it right away. “One of the great things about being homeless is that I have a lot of time to practice,” he chuckled. “My music brings me closer to God. I would not have chosen to be in this situation, but now that I am here I feel more fulfilled than I ever did before.”
Practice Makes Perfect
He spends a lot of time practicing around the chapel, and church-goers pitch in to buy David supplies like vitamins and shoes for winter. While we were talking Jane, one of David’s fans, stopped by to say hello and give him a pack of new guitar strings. Her husband plays guitar, and she knows how important it is to take care of your instrument. “David is a real inspiration for us,” she confessed, smiling as he started to play again. “When I feel my own faith falter I think of him and feel blessed for what I have.”
By now David is back to playing, and I can see how he is totally absorbed as he plays his music. The shopping cart by him contains all of his worldly possessions, but his most valued possession, his guitar, is never far from his hands or heart. I smile as I walk away, touched by David’s faith as he plays and sings his praises on a beautiful spring day.