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Greg Jordan describes the diverse experiences that playing the guitar has given him, from gigging in clubs in Oxford and London, England, to touring internationally with a US military band, to playing in a worship band in Florida, where he now lives -- and even to connecting with people to whom he gives COVID-19 jabs. Host: Will Shine
You can listen to Greg playing the guitar and Will playing the drums by visiting the below links to worship services led by Hyde Park United Methodist Church:
- Online Worship - March 28, 2021 - YouTube (Starts at 4:20)
- Worship - July 26, 2020 - YouTube (Starts at 8:14)
Below are excerpts from today's Forecast. This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity and concision.
'I see you'
We were not there to preach, but I'd always say 'God bless you' to someone, regardless of what country and what their religion is. Everyone says in one form or another, 'God bless you', however they say it.
That's me saying to this person, 'I see you.' There's a word I learned in the Methodist church here, 'Sawubona', a South African phrase. It literally says, 'I see you'. That's the literal translation. But it also means 'I recognise you' and 'I appreciate you'. So it says those three things in that one phrase...It's just one of those things when you let people know you see them, you recognise them, regardless of what their station of life is.
Because when I began, I was just some kid from Miami. And here I am playing in front of thousands of people in the audience.
I learned in the military: no job is too small. I don't have so much rank that I can't sweep the floor. You know what happens? You find that you meet people where they are, and you learn so much about this person. This person is a custodian, but they may be also be an artist, a guitar player. They may play the harmonica or saxophone or be a great singer.
You wouldn't know this if you didn't allow yourself to go into their space and meet them where they are.
On blessing fellow veterans
While I was working for the Department of Veterans' Affairs, I learned to read medical records and go through their veterans' files and help them resolve their medical claims. I saw another side of what happens to military people through their careers--I've had some bumps and scrapes personally myself, physical injuries and things--that now the VA's helping resolve and take care of. I'd get the opportunity to help these other veterans resolve their medical claims, which is rewarding...
Rarely did I have an opportunity to speak to a vet on the phone, but when you do, I made it my personal goal to always say, regardless of our conversation, 'God bless you, and I hope you find success in this' because I truly meant that. For many of the veterans I was able to help, it may be the first time since they were on active duty that someone explained to them, 'I hope you find success.'
On administering COVID-19 vaccines
Not to toot my own horn, but I've had an impact on [hundreds of] people's lives. Such an intimate thing as putting a needle in someone's arm...Again, I got great training. The folks who hired me, we all worked as a team, just as I learned in the military of how teamwork goes, and I happened to be the oldest person on this team. Lately, in my life, I'm always the oldest one, right? I had a great time doing it, and I worked with people who had done this before. They knew what they were doing. So even though I'm the oldest, I'm not the most experienced. Again, grace. These folks allowed me to be the guy with the least amount of experience and they allowed me to get in there and just jump in and have a trial by fire.
'Do these injections. You've been training. You know how to do this. Don't be afraid to put the needle in and push the plunger.'...
I can't tell you how many hugs I've got. We're talking about COVID--you're not supposed to hug. But people would get an injection, and many of them were so grateful to have these injections. People of all ages, races, every group you could think of. So that was a rewarding thing.
Some of the people, since I've been living here for about fifteen years--they've seen me play music. Some of the people have even seen me in Hyde Park, where, since COVID, we've been doing videos. Some people have seen the videos and say, 'You look familiar.'
So I've made some acquaintances that way. Some people may see you on the internet, and all of a sudden, they come into the doctor's office, and we all have masks on, and they say, 'You look familiar', even though they can only see half of your face...And that's how it unfolds.
In the midst of giving these injections, we form these really brief relationships...After you get an injection, there's an observation period of fifteen and, in some cases, thirty minutes. So in that period of time, when their time is up, they're free to leave. But they always come by and say 'Thanks for the injection.' And I have to say 'Thanks for coming in.'...
And I'm not done yet, just being around people. I always say 'God bless you' to people.
Greg Jordan is a guitar player, a US Air Force veteran, an administrator of COVID-19 vaccines and an avid fisherman. He lives in Florida.
Will Shine is a co-host of Forecast.