“Andrew, wake up!”, Mother said, as she pulled back the covers for the third time. “You will be late for school and today are try outs for the class musical.”
“Oh Mom,” Andrew grumbled, as he pushed himself in to a sitting position and stretched both hands to the ceiling, with a loud, “yeooooooooow.”
Mother was bending over to pick up Andrew’s dirty clothes off the floor, and jumping with a start, bumped her head on an open dresser drawer. “Don’t even think about laughing, young man,” Mother said, with a scowl on her pretty face which Andrew knew so well.
“I wish Mother wouldn’t push me to try out for that goofy musical,” Andrew thought, as he pulled on his jeans and “Texas Longhorn” t-shirt. “She thinks that because she loves music, I should love it too, but I just don’t get it!” Andrew said outloud to himself as he combed through his dark curly hair, “It’s just not for me.”
On the way to school, Mother glanced at Andrew, noticing that he was growing in to a very fine young man. His eyes were a deep dark brown and he had a dimple that cut deep in to his cheek when he smiled. “Andrew, I know that you aren’t real excited about singing in the school musical, but I want to tell you a story about when I was a little girl.”
“Oh no!” Andrew thought, rolling his eyes and slumping deep in to the car seat. “Not another one of her stories!”
“Just hear me out,” Mother said, as she patiently continued with her story. “Do you think that Papoo sings well when he leads the song service at church?” Mother asked Andrew.
“Well, of course I do,” Andrew sounded surprised that she would ask such a thing, “Papoo has an awesome voice!”
“Well,” Mother continued, “When I was a little girl, Papoo had to have surgery on his back.” Andrew noticed that tears filled his Mother’s eyes as she struggled to keep from crying. “There was a problem with the surgery and Papoo couldn’t sing for three months. We didn’t know if he would ever be able to sing again. Can you imagine what it was like for him, and for us, to sit in church and try to sing, without Papoo’s voice?”
Andrew thought about what Mother had said and finally said, “No Mother, I can’t imagine never hearing Papoo sing again, but I don’t understand what that has to do with me.”
Mother pulled the car up in front of the school and turned to Andrew with tears running down her cheeks, “Without song, where is life’s joy? Where is life’s comfort when you are down? We never knew the power of song, until we thought Papoo had lost his voice forever. When it came back, our joy was returned and I knew I would never take God’s precious gift of music for granted again. Do you understand?”
Andrew heard what his mother was saying, but wasn’t convinced that it had anything to do with him. He kissed Mother goodbye and as he was walking away, he heard her say, “Andrew, I love you! You have a God-given talent of song. Use it to His glory!”
The day soon turned dark and gray, with angry clouds that were moving in swirling motions, bumping in to one another and thundering as if a war was breaking out in the sky. The fire alarm sounded, warning the children to move in to the halls, sit against the lockers and cover their heads with their hands. It was a drill they had practiced often, but this time, it was the real thing. A tornado had been spotted only minutes from the school and even as the children took their places, the unforgettable sound of a rumbling, mighty train shook the building. The swirling wind ripped the roof off of the school building and the children huddled in fear as books and metal whizzed by their heads. As the horrible noise subsided, Andrew’s thoughts turned to his mother. She worked only minutes away from the school and he could see the tornado cutting a path directly for her office building.
When Andrew saw Papoo running toward the school, he knew something was wrong. Running to meet him, Andrew exclaimed, “Papoo,. what is it, who is it?” but Andrew knew in his heart that it was his mother.
“It seems the storm threw a large beam across your mother’s chest Andrew,” the doctor explained, “and we aren’t sure that she will pull through. All we can do now is pray and trust God to bring her through the storm.”
Andrew’s family gathered around his mother’s bed, holding her hands and praying for a miracle. “There is nothing we can do,” said Andrew’s uncle, closing his hand over Andrew’s shoulder.
“Yes, yes there IS something we can do. I know what will bring Mother back to us.” And in the next breath, Andrew lifted his voice and began to sing .. “When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul”. One by one, the family joined Andrew and before long, the room was filled with song. Not everyone sang well. Not everyone knew all the words, but everyone sang from deep inside their soul.
Mother’s eyes fluttered open. At first she thought she was in heaven, but then she realized that it was her family who was singing and surrounding her with their love.
“Welcome back Mom,” Andrew said. “Guess what? I found the joy of song that you have been trying to give me… and,” he hugged his mother closely as a tear slipped from his eye, “I got the main part in the school musical. I love you Mom!”