Mysterious Ways: Special Request

If only I could find a way to lift our spirits…

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- Posted on Sep 13, 2011

Mysterious Ways

“I miss hearing Dad play the guitar,” my daughter, Donna, said. “And how he’d always ask for the same hymn when the music director would take requests. Remember, Mom? ‘Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine.’”

Of course I remembered. Especially today. It was September 12, a day that my daughter, Donna, and I have struggled with for nearly a decade. The date we lost my husband, Wayne, to lung cancer. This year, it fell on a Sunday, and I hoped that my duties as church secretary and treasurer and my daughter’s role as a Sunday school teacher for students with special needs would keep us distracted. But none of Donna’s students had shown up that morning.  She came in just as I finished counting the Sunday school offering. There was nothing to do but sit and reminisce before the service began.

Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine. It was a hymn as upbeat as Wayne. I closed my eyes and pictured him smiling as he sang along. We had wanted it played at his funeral, but our church pianist at that time wasn’t familiar with it. I couldn’t remember when I’d last heard it. Maybe it wasn’t too late to catch the new pianist, Debbie, before the service and make a request…if she even knew the hymn.

“The service is about to start,” Donna said, glancing at the clock. “Should we go find a seat in the sanctuary?

“Save one for me,” I said. “I’ll be right there.”

Just as I stepped into the hall, a woman rounded the corner and nearly collided with me. Debbie!

“You’re just the person I need to talk to,” I said. “Is it too late to make a request?”

“We’ve already chosen the hymns for today,” Debbie said. “But I’ll see what I can do. Which hymn?”

“'Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine'?” I begged.

Debbie smiled. “No need to request it. That’s already part of this morning’s program!”

My daughter and I had smiles on our faces as we sang along with the hymn that Sunday. No need to request it, all right. Someone already had.

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