One of the wisest saints I've ever known was Marjorie Lester. Marjorie was a member of Houston's Bering Memorial Church. She lived to be 101 years old. Before coming to Houston, she was the second woman admitted to the bar in the Commonwealth of Kentucky after her husband was murdered, leaving her a widow with two young sons. In Houston, she was in charge of legal records for one of the natural gas companies.
In my first year at Bering Memorial Church, during the worship service where I was asking worshipers to complete their pledge cards and bring them to the Altar, she asked to speak to the congregation. Leaning on her cane, she said these words, "The Apostle Paul would be envious of the mission field at our doorstep."
Those who recorded the pledges told me that about half of the cards had the first figure erased or crossed out and a higher amount written in, no doubt in response to what Marjorie said.
In one of my last home visits to her in 1986, she said this to me. "Ron, I hope what I'm about to say does not render me a heretic, but when we get to heaven if all we are going to do is stand around God's throne and sing, I'm not sure I want to go."
I replied, "The endless singing is the work of the Angels. We get to join them, but there are other things for us to do there. I'm not sure what our other tasks will be, but I look forward to your being there beside me when the time comes."
I wish I'd had this hymn handy to share with her.
Angel Voices Ever Singing
1 Angel voices ever singing
round Thy throne of light,
angel harps, forever ringing,
rest not day nor night;
thousands only live to bless Thee
and confess thee Lord of might.
2 Thou who art beyond the farthest
mortal eye can scan,
can it be that Thou regardest
songs of sinful man?
Can we feel that Thou art near us
and wilt hear us? Yea, we can.
3 Yea, we know Thy love rejoices
o'er each work of Thine;
Thou didst ears and hands and voices
for Thy praise combine;
craftsman's art and music's measure
for Thy pleasure didst design.
4 Here, great God, today we offer
of Thine own to Thee;
and for Thine acceptance proffer,
hearts and minds and hands and voices
in our choicest melody.
5 Honor, glory, might, and merit
Thine shall ever be,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
of the best that Thou hast given
earth and heaven render Thee.
Author: Francis Pott (1861)
ANGEL VOICES (Monk) Composer: Edwin George Monk (1861)
Your thoughtful comments will make a visit to e-piphanies a richer experience for everyone. By clicking on the "Comments" link beneath each post, you can read the remarks others have written or add your own. If you leave a question, I will respond in the journal. In order to maintain the integrity of this blog, all comments are reviewed before being published on line.