“Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20
Today’s post is from “The Donut Theory” and in memory of …
Florence – My Nightingale
Do you feel great? Sing. James 5:13
Florence, an elderly member of the congregation, worked in the church office every Friday morning. She’d stand near my desk to stuff bulletin material into the pre-printed covers.
I looked forward to Fridays—Florence kept me from drifting off while entering 2,400 names, addresses, and baptism and confirmation dates into the new database. She’d hum or sing old favorite hymns, such as Rock of Ages and What a Friend We Have in Jesus. During holidays, she’d switch to songs of the season, The Old Rugged Cross, Away in a Manger, and many others. Sometimes, I’d join in and harmonize with her. I always took time to chat a bit with her, but mostly I’d listen as she told stories about her family and her faith. Florence turned Friday in to Funday.
One Friday, Florence didn’t show up. When she didn’t answer her telephone, one of the secretaries went to her home and found Florence unable to walk or talk. She had suffered a stroke. When released from the hospital, Florence moved across the state to her daughter’s home and never came back to work.
I was sorry we had not been able to give Florence a farewell party. However, our chance came about two years later when she died and showed up in spirit for the memorial service. We sang her favorite songs and shared stories about the wonderful servant who’d gone home to liven up heaven with her quips, stories, and spirit-filled singing.
Years later, I find myself quoting Florence to co-workers—to lighten a stressful moment or liven up the conversation. I wish I’d written all her little quips and stories into a journal and had them published, in her memory. First mistake I never made, and I’ll never do it again, as Florence would have said with a grin.
Lord, thank you for the gift of songs to praise you. Amen.