Tell me . . .

They came pouring into the kitchen, hungry for home cooked food, and I looked at this motley group of young, sophisticated, and brainy young people and wondered what made them tick.

Mostly strangers to me, I listened intently to the spirited exchanges and thought about their life stories. What made them tick? What was in their hearts? I was standing at the counter by the fridge, working on cinnamon rolls when I became aware that there was a handsome young man standing at my right elbow, watching me.

“So,” he said said suddenly. “What would you say is your favorite hymn?” He caught me flatfooted, off guard. H-m-m-m-m. Why would this worldly wise, cynical millennium want to know a thing like that??? Trick question? Honest seeker? I would have been much more prepared for a cooking question. I looked into his face for a clue. It was emotionless. Calm.

My favorite hymn. For me it was a no brainer. I have a lot of hymns that I love, many that speak to me in the depths of my heart in times of grief, times of despair, times of rejoicing, times of praise. But there is one . . .

I turned my eyes away, and gave him the scoop. “My favorite song,” I almost whisper, “is a very common song. It’s old and it may seem common place. The song is ‘Tell Me The Old, Old Story,’ but the thing that captivates me most about that song is the last verse.”

“Tell me the old, old Story when you have cause to fear
That this world’s empty glory is costing me too dear.
Yes! And when That World’s Glory
Is dawning on my soul
Tell me the old, old Story-
“Christ Jesus makes thee whole.”

He turned abruptly and walked away without comment, without acknowledgement. I went back to my morning tasks but my heart was pondering so many things. Then this morning, in our Monday Morning Family Zoom Meet, we were talking about favorite songs, and this story came back to me with the words of that last verse impacting me somewhere significant and deep.

“This world’s empty glory.”

What is that? How does it cost me? How would it show, if it were “costing me too dear?” Would I know? Would you know? And if you did, would you tell me? And if you told me, would I hear you?

“Oh, Lord Jesus, let your eyes look me through. May there be a clarity to my thinking, a trust in your ability to hold me steady, and whatever else may happen, let your Glory dawn on my soul with peace. Any other glory will not carry me through. The gaudiness and the glitter may distract me now, but I know from experience will turn to sawdust around me, and I can almost taste the emptiness in my mouth. It isn’t worth it.”

It just isn’t worth it!

1 Comment

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One response to “Tell me . . .

  1. Mary Alice Fouts

    Heartfelt Thanks for your heart searching comments, that I needed to hear!

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