Our Non-Traditional Church Member

I did not ask for permission to write this article. I didn’t ask because I know he would have humbly declined my spotlight. But I am going to write this article anyway.

I sit on the front row of our Church gathering each week. I do it for two reasons. One, I have to get up and down all the time and it just makes more sense. Two, I enjoy being on the front row to get a close up view of everything.

My children set in the row behind me. They do that for three reasons. One, I told them too. Two, mom and I can keep an eye on them and make sure they are listening. Three, it keeps seats open in the back for guests.

The people who set in the third row do it by their own choice and God knows their reasons.

At our gathering we have a couple set in the third row who are not your traditional Church attendees. A man and his wife have come to our Church after over 40 years of ministry. This man has served the Lord for more years than I have been alive.

Each week during the program I get to hear him sing. He can belt out the old hymns with power and beauty that come not just from knowledge but from emotion. He sings from his mouth with his heart. Some weeks he sings so sweetly that when we do hymns I just stop to listen to him. It is a thing of beauty.

Then we sing newer modern choruses. I get to hear those too. This man sings out just as strong. I hear him struggle but work through the songs with patience and praise. He sings the words on the screen but without exactly the same beauty. This last week I found myself stopping in the middle of a newer song to listen to him. Once again the song was great but not just because of his voice, but because of his heart. While it seemed clear to me that he did not know the song well, he was still singing with all of his heart. I stopped and listened closely as my heart filled with emotion.

I enjoy listening to him each week not just because of his voice, but it is clear to me that he really loves Jesus. He doesn’t love a song style and will only sing songs that he likes, he loves Jesus and will sing any song that brings praise to him.

This week I just wanted to thank God for bringing this man into my life. He always has a kind word to say. I have never heard him complain. He loves the Lord with his life, his voice and his heart. I thank God for the example of great men like this who lead the way in ministry for me … and for all of us.

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