Once upon a time, in a little town in Kentucky, there was a brown-haired girl with freckles. Every Sunday and Wednesday she went to church with her parents. Her great grandfather sat in the pew in front of her family. She would go up and sit with him. He would give her Juicy Fruit gum and find the songs in the little song book she liked. Singing was her favorite, and she loved singing with him. The little girl got big and moved away, but she always remembered singing with Popaw.
That little girl was me.
I’m not sure why there were two sizes of our song book, but there was a copy that was much smaller and easier for little hands to prop open. All of the red song books (with red-edged pages) had the same numbering for the songs. The blue-edged books were different, but even when we used the blue ones Popaw would find the songs that were in the little one for me.
Last week at church, I realized that in the song books that had recently been donated to our congregation, there was a small song book just like my favorite one from when I was little. After service I scooted it to my seat, and I sang out of it today. What a good, misty-eyed feeling it was.
Some might say my popaw spoiled me, and maybe he did. What I do know is that he was a great example of a Christian man. He raised a gigantic garden every year, even when he was in his eighties and early nineties, so that he would have plenty to give away. I never saw him lose his temper. He always made us children in the family, and from church, feel like we were the most important thing in the world.
So when I sang out of the little song book again today, it was like Popaw was right there with me. Sitting beside me with his beautiful voice with just a hint of bluegrass, with his arm around me, showing me how much he loved me.
I am so thankful for memories of loved ones that catch me by surprise and encourage me. It makes me think about Matthew 5:16, which says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” When just seeing a book years later can bring back such powerful memories, I know Popaw let his light shine. Thank God for good examples.
Do you have special lights in your life?
May the Lord bless and keep you,