Whenever I hear this hymn I am transported back to my childhood. It is Friday evening, the sun is setting, and I am sitting on my Grandparents sofa. My Great-grandmother is sitting on the lazy boy rocker. Her hair is white as snow and her memory is in the first stages of fading away. My Grandmother is sitting to her right on a wooden rocker and my Grandfather is on the sofa nearest to the light.
With hymn books in hand we have gathered in the small living room to join together in worship to welcome the Sabbath. The fact that my Father, sister, and I barely know a word of Spanish does not matter, because unlike my Great-Grandmother and Grandfather, my Grandmother can only speak a little bit of English.
Our ability to communicate with her without the aid of my Mother or Grandfather to translate is limited. Making it impossible to sit down and freely speak with her as we would like. But for that one moment, as we sat down for worship and lifted our voices in song the communication gap was gone.
It is true that we did not understand all words, but that did not matter because we knew that it was hymn of praise to God. And oh what a glorious moment as we lifted our voices. For that brief moment the language barrier seemed to fade as our voice united in praise to God and by faith our hearts were carried to that glorious day when Jesus would return and at last we would be free to sit and talk. The language barrier would be no more, and the words that we had spent a lifetime longing to share would at last be able to freely flow.
As I listen to the words of Cantad algres al Senor, my heart beats with delight as I remember those precious few evenings. With cloudy eyes I think back to the joy that filled my heart and how I miss those Friday nights. For sadly those evenings are no more as both my Great-Grandmother and my Grandfather now lay quietly in the tomb waiting for that longed for day when Jesus shall call them forth to take part in that glorious family reunion wherwe shall once again lift up our voices to sing praises to our King.
It is a shame that we need a special day to pause from our busy schedules to remember the people that we love. Important days like Valentines, Mother’s, Father’s, and Grandparent’s Day should not have to be on the calendar for us to stop and schedule a few hours at the dinner table with or call on the phone.
The mere years of love and faithful devotion required by our Mother’s for us to survive the tenuous journey of totally dependent infancy to independent adults ready to stand upon our own two feet should be enough for us to daily show our gratitude through little acts of attention and words of love that let our precious Mother know that we are grateful for her years of sacrifice on our behalf.
But sadly it is so easy to get caught up in the minutia of life and the daily grind to survive. The once daily calls we promised that we would make grow sparse as work and exhaustion blend one day into another. Before we realize it, days and weeks have gone by since we last said those words our Mother’s hold so dear, I love you Mom, thank you for all that you have done.
I came across this poem the other day and it brought back so many memories. My family was privileged to have Natasha in our lives for 9 wonderful years. Like my adorable little Happy, she slept on a pillow in the corner of my room and followed me wherever I went. She was a wonderful friend and faithful companion. More than once my special pup had found a way to alert my parents to the fact that I was in need of medical care. One time she spent over an hour going from the front window over to my Father, then over to me to smell my breath, before heading back to the window. When my Father figured out that she was trying to tell us that something was seriously wrong and called 911, I had to be rushed to the nearest hospital because my blood pressure and pulse were both over 200. Or the time she cried mum with such pathos that I knew my Mother needed to go to the ER, and ended up spending a week in the hospital because she had water building in her lungs
There is so much more that I would love to say about my special dog. How she loved to sneak bones out of the box when we were gone. Not so she could eat them, but so she could hide them in the sofa, chairs, or even our made beds so we could find them and play a game of chase with her when we returned. How like Happy, she found joy in startling my mother. Of the time she gave us a fright when she found my plate of chocolate chip cookies and ate every last one when no one was looking, the way she hated riding past run down homes, and the proud smile on her face when we finally moved into our dream home.