as a result of meditation;
Earlier tonight I was reflecting on some of the people in my life who have been so precious to me. I have had an amazing life and have been blessed with so many inspirational people along the way. Some were misguided in their beliefs and teachings about Christianity, but they are still precious to me because I believe with my whole heart they did the best they knew to do at the time.
Before he settled in for the evening, Daddy and I listened to the Gaither Gospel Hour production of a Tribute to Billy Graham. What an amazing man and an amazing life lived for the Lord! As they sang those old songs, I couldn't help but be transported back to my childhood and those Sunday mornings in our little country church. So many precious men and women whom I never told how much they, and the life they lived for Jesus, meant to me. I know I will get the chance to tell them in heaven!
Ray Boltz performed Thank You and I sat with tears running down my face as I remembered my sister, Debra, and my nephew, Adam, singing that song so many times at church during his childhood. In my heart and in my head, I could still hear them and see the look of pure joy as my baby sister stood beside her only child and sang to the Lord.
I watched as tears streamed down his Daddy's face as he watched his wife and his son and listened as they sang. Everyone in our small church knew the struggles their little family had faced since the day of Adam's birth and what God had brought them through. When Debra and Adam sang together, there wasn't a dry eye in the house...we all knew what a precious gift it was.
Between 1989 and 1991, I worked as a social worker and social activities director for a local nursing home. I love elderly people. I love to sit and talk with them, to hear their stories of trials and triumphs. I love to hear them speak of their praises to the God who saved them and who has brought them along these many years of life and who has sustained them in the waning years of their life. It was a perfect job for me.
We gathered in the Day Room each morning for exercise. Then, I would play the piano as they sang the old hymns. Oh my, heaven's glory filled that little room each morning as their aged and wrinkled faces shone once more with the love of their Saviour and the praises for all He had brought them through!
Mr. Cartwright was a man of his late 80's whose wife was also a resident. They had been together for more years than I had lived. They had no children, but had been totally devoted to each other for so many years. She had began to suffer from Alzheimer's and he could no longer care for her, so he moved them both into the nursing home. She no longer knew him or anyone else, not even her own name or whether she was dressed or naked.
They had separate rooms but he would roll himself around to her room every afternoon and sit by her bedside talking with her and reading the Scriptures to her. She paid him no mind, but it didn't stop his afternoon visits. Tears rolled down his face as he continued to be faithful to her and their love. I learned so much about the commitment of loving a spouse from that gentle man and his precious wife.
Mr. Roland was also a man of his late 80's. His wife had gone home to be with Jesus and his children could no longer care for him at home, so he also came to live with us at the nursing home. He, as Mr. Cartwright, was restricted to a wheelchair. He came each morning to exercise and then sing. He had a deep base voice that continued to be clear and deep, even at is advanced age. He always wore a smile and always spoke words of encouragement and gratitude for a long life of bountiful blessings from his Lord.
Mr. Cartwright and Mr. Roland tolerated the exercise so they could do what they really loved to do best...sing. Mr. Cartwright, with his beautiful baritone, and Mr. Roland, with his deep base, would sit side by side and lead the group as I played the piano. How Great Thou Art and In The Garden were Mr. Cartwright's favorites; Leaning On The Everlasting Arms was Mr. Roland's favorite.
As I allow the years to roll back and my mind's eye to look once again on that room full of precious elderly men and women, I hear the voices of these faithful men of God and I am overcome with gratitude for what they meant, and mean, to me. I can hear their voices booming as they allowed their love for their Lord to fill every note!
The King Is Coming....praise God, He's coming for me!!!! Momma used to sing that song with a voice so clear and melodious. I can see her now standing before the kitchen sink, washing dishes or preparing a meal, and I can hear her singing in that harmonious alto voice that is still so familiar to me! What wonderful, precious memories God has given me!
Lord Send Me.....that was Daddy's favorite during my teens and the years of my early marriage. Our little church had a small congregation and we couldn't afford a music director, so we had members who served as song leaders. Daddy filled that position for several years. It became almost a joke that we would sing Lord Send Me at almost every service!
"There is much to do, there's work on ev'ry hand; hark the cry for help comes ringin through the land. Jesus calls for reapers, I must active be; what will thou oh Master? Here am I, send me!" I hear Daddy's voice so clear and see his body so able when I think of those lyrics!
Just A Little Talk With Jesus....a dear deacon from our church had one of those bass voices that was as smooth as butter and as deep as a river! Bro. Stewart was a huge man and so devoted to his Lord! Nothing gave him greater joy than bellowing out a song for his Lord! Even after he was aged and living in the nursing home, he would come to visit us at church on occasion and was always so eager to get up and sing with a group of the younger men.
A couple of his grandsons, one of my uncles and my husband would join him and sing until Bro. Stewart was so winded he required help to make it back to his seat. But, he loved every minute of it and we did too! Just A Little Talk With Jesus was one I remember the most. His favorite was There Is A Fountain....."there is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel's veins, and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains..." precious, precious memories.
Oh precious Lord, thank you for the people you have placed in my life. What a joy to have known each one and to have been the recipient of so much love and encouragement as I have grown in my relationship with You. Your love is amazing!
2 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.I Thessalonians 1: 2-3 (NIV)