News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 11, 2014

THE JOY LADY: I’m glad we can sing to God with voices raised, smiles on our faces

Verna Davis
Special to the Tribune-Star

---- — When my children were young, I had a habit of annoying them. I didn’t do it on purpose, at least not in the beginning. Of course, their reaction was part of the fun — the eye-rolls, the shoulders hunched in embarrassment, their pretense of not knowing me. What did I do? I sang. A lot.

When one of them started to say something, I would jump in with a line from a song. Son would say, “Hey …” and I would sing, “… you, get off of my cloud!” Daughter would say, “Will you …” and I would interrupt, “… be there in my morning, will you be there in my night? Will you take whatever’s wrong and make it right?” They would roll their eyes and say, “Stop …” and I would follow with, “… in the name of love, before you break my heart. Think it oh-oh-ver. Think it oh-oh-ver.” In exasperation, they would chime in, “Hey, hey!” and I would break out in my favorite, “… Paula, I want to marry you some day!”

At one of my finest moments, I asked my son, Matt, to bring in the mail. He came back and said, “Here’s a letter and a bill.” I couldn’t help myself. I grabbed the bill and sang, “Bill, I love you so. I always will.” Matt just stood there while I sang the whole song. I even did a little dance as I finished. “Will you marry me, Bill? I’ve got the wedding bell blues. I’ve got the wedding bell blu-hoo-hoo-hoos!”

Nowadays, I sing less of The Fifth Dimension and more hymns and worship choruses that add spiritual dimension to my life. But every once in a while, the old honery-ness comes rearing its annoying head.

For instance, when I sing, “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms,” I think “just till I can make it to my cane.” “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” … “for I have forgotten where I parked my car.” “My Hope Is In The Lord” … “but my teeth will soon be in a glass next to the bathroom sink.” “And Can It Be That I Should Gain” … “and gain and gain and gain again with each bite I take.” “Blessed Assurance” … “for that blessed insurance.” “He Hideth My Soul” … “but does he have to hide my car keys, too? “Blessed Quietness” … “is just because I can’t find my hearing aid.”

Some of the old hymns fill me with a certain gladness. I’m glad that “When We All Get To Heaven” and “The Roll Is Called Up Yonder,” I’ll be there. I’m glad that we can sing to God with our voices raised in praise, our faces lined with smiles, and our hearts filled with hope-filled laughter. And today, when we bury my stepfather, we will sing, “It Is Well With My Soul.”

So, all together, now, let’s sing: “I love you, Lord. And I lift my voice to worship You. Oh, my soul rejoice. Take joy, my King, in what You hear. May it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.”

Verna Davis, speaker and writer, may be reached at