Tuesday, January 15, 2008

When my father's time was nearly done, a friend from church brought my dad a gift. That gift was a music box. When wound, it plays "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."

It sat on the tray of Dad's hospital bed in his room at home. We wound it from time to time to let the song play for our father who loved Jesus, dearly.

The gift was special as it was from a friend who set an incredible example in today's world. That friend was from Israel, and had given his heart to Christ earlier in life. To make things more interesting, his best friend (who was very close to our family) was from Lebanon.

Both men were believers. Their friendship represented things in our world today that we long for, but seldom see. Peace.

Peace between Arabs and Jews. According to Scripture, we are not likely to ever see it, before heaven. These two men inspired me with how they responded to each other. They had genuine love, whereas many of their countrymen have genuine hatred.

To receive a gift that spoke of friendship was significant. This man knew friendship...he knew Jesus. His relationship with Christ gave him a genuine love for those he might otherwise, hate.

When my father passed away, this very special treasure was given by my mother, to BJ. He had wound it many times at grandpa's side. He knew it's melody. I'm afraid I never told him of its story.

The Christmas after grandpa died, when BJ opened this gift, he wept. It was dear to him. BJ did not weep easily. The depth of the love in this gift was realized, and he was elated. Somewhere, this was captured on film.

The gift sat by his bedside for the next 11 years. On occasion, we would hear it yield it's melody, and know that it had once again been rewound. The memories that resounded, inspired a harmony as it played.

When BJ passed away, the gift came to us. Upon our move to Tulsa, we placed it on a shelf in our living room among a few other reminders of days gone by.

I confess, I have not wound the music box in a very long time. It's melody while sweet, rings a sadness in my heart that longs to be joy. It's legacy is clear. There should be no hesitation in sharing it's beauty.

A few weeks ago, after our return from Peru, Brad and I were in my home. He was in the living room, and I was in my room. I heard a strange sound.

I moved from my room, down the hall toward the familiar melody. Brad was asking me if I had wound it.

"No!" I replied. "You didn't?" I asked.

"No!" he responded.

We stood in motionless silence...except for the song.

No one else was home. No one had touched it. Yet it called us together. Perhaps to remember.

This is not one of those you can wind and then a switch shuts it off until you are ready to listen. This will play when wound. But it had not been wound.

It did not sing as though fully coiled, and speeding to an end. It gave sparing chirps as though releasing it's final thoughts. When you thought it was finished, it had more to say.

We looked at it and stared. No words. We both knew.

It reminded me of its previous owner who always had more to share. His words were worthy of a listen, just as this moment was.

We need to listen. Even when our hearts are not in it, there is a richness and abundance in His words. There is value in life for time spent in the listening.



At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, that moment somehow managed to bring me peace at a time when i was still very wound up inside because of the events of the trip home. i can't explain why, but those moments calmed and reassured me more than anything else has.

I remember when this gift was given, both times, with each holding unspoken significance. Both givers gave it with full hearts, part of which were no doubt breaking with the gift's acceptance.

Those two wonderful men, Dad, Mom and BJ (and many others)...how blessed we have been to have so many exemplify Christ in our lives in a very personal way.


At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 8:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a great story Brent, very powerful. Thanks for sharing...btw, Gabby is the dog's name!


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