An odd thing happened during church today.
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Removing myself from the piano bench and getting situated on the pew (second on the left), I caught a glimpse of Mrs. Johnnie, three rows directly behind, her white hair, bright smile, and twinkling eyes giving a nod as I sat.
She wasn't there, of course -- hadn't been there for many years, having entered the Sabbath Rest like so many beloved others of our small congregation. Her soft voice reached through memory, "You get on back to school, Missy. You'll do just fine."
Perhaps it's the anxiety of being a non-traditional student at a junior college at this late date in life that summoned other voices, long quiet, to calm and strengthen a hesitant soul. Daddy's clear tenor quipped, "Time to do it, Shug. Fix us a pot of coffee and figure that out."
Tears were fought to keep from falling as Thomas' exposition of Genesis 3: 15 and an Old Promise for a New Year continued.
Billy's sweet spirit touched lightly, "You're my favorite aunt. Make me proud." John's no-nonsense words rang true to his eldest sibling position in the family. "Be careful on the road; lots more idiots than you out there. Don't be quite so much yourself. Just because you can speak doesn't mean you have to. Study. You're smart enough."
It was odd, all right. Was I visited by spirits during church? No. Did this soul, spirit, and mind manufacture necessary words of selective encouragement in the one place of Ultimate Encouragement? Yes.
An Old Promise for a New Year concluded. I play and we sing, "Then in a nobler sweeter song I'll sing Your power to save, when this poor lisping stammering tongue lies silent in the grave."
Lie silent now. And thank you.