A measure behind

Yesterday our congregation said good-bye to a dear friend. We remembered his honesty, commitment, generosity and hard-working ethic. We chuckled about how a few years back he took his chain saw out to help tackle the debris left by the tornado…that was back when he was almost 90 years old. He was a long-time baritone in the choir, so yesterday we talked little and mostly sang the good old hymns he loved. “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.” Yes, our friend sang his faith.

Last year he had dropped out of choir because he simply could not hear anymore. He would drive down early on Sunday and put his offering in the plate, but rarely stayed because he was embarrassed that he couldn’t hear to understand conversations. He was ready to move on and be with the Lord. One Sunday, though, he stayed for worship. We must have been singing a hymn he loved. The congregation finished the hymn and, I dare say, a few of us not paying much attention to the words. But in the organ’s silence and the pause that followed the hymn, there was our friend singing enthusiastically at his own tempo, a couple of measures behind us. We were suddenly reminded why and to Whom we were singing.

This morning, I seem to be a couple of measures behind. I haven’t quite finished saying good-bye to my friend.