I find that May 3rd always stirs in me a desire to remember days gone by. Mom would have been 93 today had she remained on earth. I wonder what she would have been like at 93. In my mind’s eye I can see those smiling eyes grinning through a gentle face weathered from 93 years of life. The same gentle spirit sitting in the same rocking chair with the same favorite squeak now rocking one of her great great grandchildren. She left us at the age of 54. Many of her grandchildren, and all of her great grandchildren missed the honor of knowing her. For those of us who were lucky enough to share life with her, she instilled in us her natural praise of God. I don’t think she ever consciously thought, “I must praise God now.” It just happened. A perfect example of that is found in this article I wrote years ago when my kids were small.
MOM’S SONG © 1996 It was a beautiful spring afternoon. School was done for the day and I hopped off the bus, glad to be home. As I walked toward the house, I could hear Mom’s voice carried by the wind through the open windows. Mom always sang . . . but she sang best when she thought no one was listening. I opened the door as quietly as I could, snuck in and sat down in the porch so she wouldn’t know I was there. Her voice rang out so clear and beautiful . . . Could I with ink the ocean fill, And were the sky of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man, a scribe by trade, To write the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry. Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Tho’ stretched from sky to Sky. O Love of God, How rich and Pure! How measureless and strong. It shall forever more endure The saints and angles song. (1) Somehow I knew that God alone was the audience. I was just sitting in the wings. As I sat there listening, all the struggles of my school day melted away. My heart was at peace. Mom’s songs always brought peace. I didn’t understand all that as a child. I just knew it was nice, a place where I wanted to be. As I look back on those times, I can now understand why. God’s word tells us He inhabits the praise of His people and she was one of His “people” who loved to sing praises to Him; and as she sang, His holy presence filled both her and her space. Mom always sang. She sang when she was happy and she sang when she was sad. She sang when she wasn’t sure how to answer a question and needed time to think about it. She sang when the situations were tense and emotions were very close to the surface. She sang while she milked the cows, and while she cleaned house and watered the plants. But she sang best when she thought she was alone . . . and her songs always brought peace. Mom is singing her praises in heaven now, and I find that on these beautiful spring days, it is my children hopping off the bus, glad for another day of school to be done. “Father, please let my life be a song that brings peace. My children are coming home.” (1)F.H.Lehman, The Love of God (Nazarene Publishing House, 1917, Renewed1945)
Many years have past since I wrote this. It’s now my grandchildren coming home, glad for another day of school to be done, and I see Mom’s song living on in my youngest grandson. At the age of 4, he loves to sing, and he sings best when he thinks he’s alone. I am always thankful for the memories that May 3rd stirs in me. My prayer is that Mom’s songs of praise would continue to live on through many generations.