Some years back, I read in The Commission magazine an incident I will never forget. A church group from New Bern, North Carolina, had traveled to the Caribbean on a mission trip. Their host took them to visit a leper colony on the island of Tobago. While visiting with these sad patients, they held a worship service in the campus chapel. The lepers filed in and took their seats on the pews, and the Carolinians led them in hymns. The minister of the group-his name is Jack; wish I had the last name-noticed that one patient was sitting on the back row, facing the opposite direction. How unusual.
Jack said, ‘We have time for one more hymn. Does anyone have a favorite?’ Now for the first time, the leprous woman on the back row turned around to face the front. Jack said, ‘I found myself staring into the most hideous face I had ever seen. She had no nose and no lips. Just the bare teeth, like a skull.’ As she turned, she raised her hand in the air. Except it wasn’t a hand. It was the bony end of her arm, just a nub. As poor Jack was trying to take this in, she spoke. ‘Could we sing ‘Count Your Many Blessings’?’
The preacher lost it. He stumbled out of the pulpit and through the door into the yard, with tears in his eyes. Another stepped up and led the hymn, and a friend walked outside and put his arm around Jack. ‘You’ll never be able to sing that song again, will you, Jack?’ ‘Oh, yeah, I’ll sing it,’ Jack said, ‘but not in the same way.’
Serving the Lord, rejoicing in Him, obeying, giving, loving, praying. Regardless.-Adapted from Joe McKeever
‘Ye are blessed of the Lord which made heaven and earth.’-Psalm 115:15
House to House, Vol. 12 #1