May 11, 2020
God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8 NLT
Jimmy is my pew buddy on Sunday mornings. He rides to church on the bus from Stewart Home, a loving facility for the intellectually disabled, where he lives in harmony with his friends. He constantly wears a gaping “O” smile, and tells me over and over how much he loves his church, and asks me over and over if I love him. "Of course, I love you, Jimmy," I answer—over and over.
Today was Easter service. Our talented choir director and his amazing choir and visiting musicians performed exquisitely, the result of weeks of hard work and dedication required to master the difficult pieces. My heart stung and my soul was pierced with joy and sorrow as the Hallelujah Chorus was performed. The congregation stood in silent reverence. But not Jimmy!
I glanced to my side to find Jimmy swaying without inhibition, a joyous smile on his face. He “directed” the choir with wild gesticulations, waving his arms in surprisingly good rhythm, pointing his fingers upward and then wagging them in the direction of the chorus. He knew innately when the crescendo was coming. His arm movements became more frenetic as it approached, until at the very end, he raised his fists and clenched them in jubilant celebration, then gave a “thumbs up” finale for a job well done. He had completed his directing.
Pure joy and satisfaction adorned his sweet face, and he was not afraid to let it shine. What a happy blessing to be beside Jimmy, as he assisted the choir!
Oh, and he can play a mean handbell. And, yes, I do love him.