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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holy Ghost Story #2

In keeping with our Advent tradition, we had another Holy Ghost story at our church gathering tonight. Here's the one I told the kids tonight:

This story is not only a Holy Ghost story. I also like to call it a friendship story. Sometimes the way God shows us his own love is to use good friends to share in it.

This story actually starts out as our Pastor Drake's story. Almost exactly two years ago, on a Wednesday night after Advent, he got some hard news. He found out that his dad had died. You know that was really sad for him. It is very hard when someone we love goes ahead of us.

Well, just a few months after that, my mother died. So Pastor Drake and I had a kind of similar thing going on at the same time. We were both experiencing sadness and learning how to do life again in a new way, while missing a person who had always been there--each missing one of our own parents.

When my mother died, I went to my dad's home and stayed there with him and my brothers for over a week. We were going through the papers my mother had left for us. She didn't want a funeral. All she wanted was for her family to get together and remember her with music. There was a piece of paper she had left and on it she had written a Bible verse from John, and then the name of a song. The song was called Whispering Hope.

At first, my brothers and dad and I just kind of looked at each other. The song name sounded kind of familiar, like something we ought to know. But we didn't recognize it right then. You see, that is a very, very old song. Do you know how old it is? It's older than radios. That song was written way back in 1868. That means the song is 144 years old! We had to look it up on the Internet, and we did find it. It starts out like this, "Soft as the voice of an angel, breathing a lesson unheard..." It's a song about finding comfort in God while you wait through being very sad. It's a song about having hope. We copied off an mp3 and I think one of my brothers put it on a cd for my dad. For the next several days, we played the song a few times, so by the time I left to come back home to Asheville, I knew it pretty well.

So some time passed and I was trying to get back to normal life here at home. One day, I came up to the church during the day. I was talking to someone out in the hall, and Pastor Drake heard my voice. He came out of his office and said, "Hey, I heard you out here. Come here, I want to show you something." So I went back into his office with him, and he told me that his brother Jerry had been cleaning out some of his parents' things. Jerry had found a recording of their mom from long, long ago. She had sung a song and it had been recorded--and all this time the boys had never heard it. Pastor Drake said, "Listen to this! This is my mother singing!" and he turned on the music. And I heard his mother sing these words: "Soft as the voice of an angel, breathing a lesson unheard..."

My eyes grew wide and I stopped to really listen. Was it the same song? It was! I started saying the next words along with her, and Pastor Drake was surprised. He said, "What is this? You KNOW this song?" Then I told him about my mom's paper and this song being on it. Now this is why I call this a friendship story as well as a Holy Ghost story: You know how sometimes when you are sad, it helps to have a friend to share with? Well, that's how this was. Pastor Drake is my friend. And he and I were sharing the same sort of sadness. So we sat there together, and we listened to his mother sing to both of us the very words my mother wanted us to know and remember when we thought about her leaving ahead of us. His mother sang to us about comfort and hope.

And I call that a Holy Ghost story!



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Anonymous said...

Did you play the song of his mom singing at the remembrance gathering for your mom?

Donna Cannone