Monday, September 17, 2012

He Kissed His Hymnal and Slammed It Shut

I didn’t even see it myself. Someone told me after worship on Sunday how much it touched her heart. Just hearing about it, I was brought to tears and it’s been resonating in my mind. Often a serendipitous worship moment fills my heart with joy.

One of the many, many wonderful ministries of the church I serve is our Good Neighbor Fellowship. They reach out each month to 40 or 50 Birmingham area adults with mental challenges. I love to visit them at their monthly dinners, the annual Birmingham Barons game, and their Christmas party. I’ve never, ever seen such excitement when Santa walks in!

Since I came to Saint Mark last year, two of the delightful men from Good Neighbor Fellowship joined our church and they just love to come. They are part of a Sunday School class created especially for them and others with special needs. They come to Men’s Breakfast and sing in the Men’s Chorus at 8:30 each month. And they sing with joy and enthusiasm … though neither of them are actually able to read. They wave and they smile. And I remember how truly grateful I am to be a part of a church who strives to welcome all of God’s children with unconditional love. It blesses us all.

On Sunday, after we considered our commitment to become a Christian and many came to renew their vow to be a follower of Christ, we sang the old hymn “I Surrender All.” One of these dear friends had his hymnal open and sang his heart out. When he was done, he kissed the pages of his hymnal and slammed it shut.

I wish I had seen it myself, because for at least one person who told me about it, it was a holy moment. In his own way, he says yes to God and surrenders his heart to the holy one who created all of us.