Richard Hudson

The Importance Of Family

In January of 2017, that's last year for those of you from Austin, a retired minister friend of ours, Bro H.H. Davis, asked Conchieta and I if we would help him with music, since he had been asked to be an interim Pastor for a church in Sulphur, just north of us. We told him sure. We would be glad to do it. Well, after a few months a new Pastor was appointed, Bro Larry Landtroop and his family. Bro Larry asked us if we would stay on, and we agreed to stay. I told him up front that all I knew how to do were the old fashioned songs out of the hymnal. I was honest with him and told him that I don't do the modern 7/11 praise and worship songs. I told him that when someone comes along that can do that stuff that I will gladly step aside and my feelings are not hurt, because we are just there to do what we can as long as you need us.

The first Sunday we went, there was Bro Davis, two other couples, a single gentleman, and Conchieta and I. This is in an auditorium that can probably seat about 300 quite comfortably. The Oklahoma State School For The Deaf is right across the street West from the church. As a consequence, the church has a separate congregation and Pastor for the deaf. They have about 30-40 in attendance. A few months back Pastor Larry invited the deaf congregation to join us for a combined worship service. There was a couple that came along with them that knew how to sign, so that the deaf would know what was going on when Pastor Larry was speaking, and he would also interpret the deaf Pastor's signing when he was out front. The whole experience was really a blessing to me, to see the enthusiasm and joy in their faces as they worshipped, even though they couldn't hear.

Now, here is the part that brought me to tears, to the point that I almost had to stop singing. This was my first experience to be in a worship service with those that could not hear, and I was totally unprepared for what was going to happen when I stood to lead the congregation in the singing of hymns. I chose a couple of upbeat spiritual type songs to do. I gave the page number in the hymnal, and the deaf people turned to the hymn just like everyone else did. When they saw the name of the song we were going to do, "Power In The Blood," their countenance changed instantly. Big smiles came on their faces, and when I began to lead the congregation in the song, they all, everyone of them, started signing the words to the song, with a smile and look of joy that you can't imagine unless you were there. I was overwhelmed by the joy and enthusiasm in their worship. Here I was so pious in my thinking that I thought we would be able to encourage them, and boy did that backfire as their actions blessed me in a way that I haven't been in a long time.

Well, this morning we had another combined service, and this time their pastor, Pastor Nathan, brought the message by signing. So, here again, I am ashamed because I thought this would be something we would have to endure, but we would be nice and act like we enjoyed it. And, again, my precious Lord humbled me as Pastor Nathan, with great enthusiasm, told us about the importance of being a family in our worship. We talk about the family of God a lot, but this morning Pastor Nathan showed me what being a part of the family of God really meant. He told the story about how a family had a get together, and all of the kids were outside playing a game in which one of the children would be blindfolded and he had to reach out and touch someone who would then be, "it," so to speak, and then another, and another. What was different about this gathering was that one of the little boys was deaf. When the kids that could hear were blindfolded, they could hear their playmates and could tell where they were, but when the deaf boy was blindfolded he didn't have that advantage. He kept trying to find someone to tag, and he was unable to find anyone, so he took off the blindfold, and everyone was gone. What had happened was that while he was blindfolded someone yelled from the house that dinner was ready, so the kids, not thinking, just broke and ran toward the house and started eating. So the little deaf boy was heartbroken that his family had left him outside. Then Pastor Nathan admitted, that the little boy he was telling about was him, and it really happened that way. His message really hit home as he used this to illustrate how important it is to be a family that cares about one another. He made his point very clearly.

Pastor Nathan's message not only applies to a church family, but we could all take this to heart, and care for each other. We can be the ears for those who can't hear. The eyes for those who can't see. We can bring the message for those who can't speak. We can be the strength for those who are weak.

Whether you believe in God or not. Try a little kindness. It goes a long way.

 

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