When I was very young I knew four family members who resonated with a distinctive “song” about Jesus. Four people whose lives “sang” in ways that compelled a response.
First, my Mom who unfailingly prayed with me when she put me to bed as a child, and drove me and several neighbor kids to church on Sundays. My Mom continued to worship faithfully for all her 94 years.
The second was my grandmother Mary, my mother’s mother, who became a widow when I was 5 or 6 years old. Living a difficult life, my grandmother seemed to sing both a sad song and a hopeful song. I heard this song when she prayed with me beside her big bed during the time my Mom and I lived with her during World War Two. I can see and hear my grandmother now, earnest, honest, and humbly dependent on our Father in heaven.
The third person whose life sang and still sings of Jesus, is my Mom’s brother - Uncle Bud. (His real name is Fred.) When I was about 10 or 12, and had some questionable ideas about God and worshipping Him, Uncle Bud patiently helped me recognize kinks in my thinking and improved my understanding of Jesus.
The fourth person whose life sang of Jesus was Parkie, Dora Parkins, a retired missionary who baby-sat me and my siblings and gently but forcefully insisted that I study the Bible. Why? Because Parkie said God inspired its every word. What made me cooperate with Parkie was her life and belief in the Bible’s teaching. She was not always entertaining, but she was always earnestly insisting that I must know the God of the Bible. With my parents’ permission I went with her to church and met people young and old who believed and lived with the same lively faith as Parkie.
These dear people did not make a Christian of me. In my late teens I fled their way of life as fast as I could. It was too restricting. However, God used them to put His mark on me, and when I turned my face to Jesus I had learned from them where the truth about God is found. I knew from experience what it’s like to worship where the word of God is valued and where people in the church respond with changed lives.
I thank God for putting His mark on me when I was very young through my Mom, grandmother, Uncle Bud and Parkie. They taught me to listen for the song of Jesus in the speech, life, writing, and worship of Christians, and showed me how in Jesus I can become a better man than I am.
Originally written February 18, 2019.