Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Gift That Kept on Giving

I woke up early this morning. The time change was still having its effects and the alarm clock read 5:00 which meant no one was up and about and there was no real reason to get out of bed. In my still sleepy state, I found myself softly singing the words to an old hymn from my childhood.

There’s a peace in my heart that the world never gave,
A peace it cannot take away;
Though the trials of life may surround like a cloud,
I’ve a peace that has come here to stay!

Constantly abiding, Jesus is mine;
Constantly abiding, rapture divine;
He never leaves me lonely, whispers, O so kind:
“I will never leave thee,” Jesus is mine.

All the world seemed to sing of a Savior and King,
When peace sweetly came to my heart;
Troubles all fled away and my night turned to day,
Blessed Jesus, how glorious Thou art!

This treasure I have in a temple of clay,
While here on His footstool I roam;
But He’s coming to take me some glorious day,
Over there to my heavenly home!

All my life I have been singing. In the back of my mind as I go about my daily living there is always a song, words to a hymn, scripture in song, verses to some chorus. As I lay in the semi-darkness this morning, my thoughts drifted back to my childhood home.

 I was blessed with parents who loved to sing. Sunday mornings we were often awakened to the sound of my Dad playing harmonica as he got ready for church. If I went out into the hall, I could see him sitting on the side of the bed, eyes closed, harmonica pressed to his lips. He whistled or sang while he worked about the farm and later he bought himself a record player. That opened up a whole new world. We would drive around the country side attending concerts and services that featured gospel singers and always he would buy the records. Evenings after work, he would play them and hearing them over and over, we would soon know them all by heart. 

My mother's tastes leaned more to the hymns in the Psalter hymnal and she sang them while we did dishes with her, and while she gardened, while she comforted the foster babies, and while she ironed our clothes.

I learned to read long before I started school by following my father's finger in the hymnals at church. 

Did they know they were leaving a gift that would filter on down to their grandchildren and their great grandchildren? Did they know that the words to the songs they played and sang would reverberate in their children for generations to come? Did they know the message of a mighty God would ring through in simple phrases and snatches of scripture that would make dark days brighter, hard times easier, joy deeper, faith stronger? 

They simply lived their lives and praised the God they loved. It was not complicated, only sincere and from the heart, an outward expression of an inward work that God had done in their lives. 

It was a gift that keeps on giving. What a legacy they left us all. 

So if my children wonder why I always sing as I go about my day, if they get tired of hearing the raspy sound of my voice as I do dishes, or my Randy Travis Gospel CD echoing through the house, I hope they will someday  look back and remember and the gift will continue on. 


  1. What a beautiful legacy Pake and Beppe left. I do have memories of you singing often - anything from crazy kids songs to hymns.

    You have a gift for writing, especially telling stories. Keep it up!

  2. Aaww, beautifully writen!! I love to sing (when no one is around!) and I need to learn more hymns - the lyrics are just beautiful! And yes, Dave carries on the gift! ;) :)