Memories are funny things, they can take you places, triggered by a song or word that connects long ago to today. I have been experiencing this during the conference a few times, one evening we song an "old" praise song (Great is Thy Faithfulness) that took me back in time to Hornerstown Baptist church, where I attended as a child and was baptized 33 years ago. I can feel the vibrations in the floorboards from the organ played by cousin (second cousin once removed, I think) Marty as a group of us stood around it and sang the same song, including my mother, who had requested it as I recall.
Yesterday's lesson included being a hinge- helping others through doors- and asked you to recall those who were hinges for you, helping you stretch and grow as a Christian. That brought me right back to Hornerstown, of course, not just to "Pop" Sewell, who baptized me, but to several wonderful ladies who are now in heaven, my grandmother Oliva Emley, who would always let us stay for church with her after Sunday school was over and drive us home after if no one else was staying. She bought my sisters and me "The Way" as a brand new Bible translation when we were teenagers (The Living Bible) for Christmas. Garry and I used it for reading after dinner with the kids for years - until the house fire. I found a copy at the thrift store a couple years ago, with the green plasticized paper cover and took it home for a dollar.
Then there was Mrs Eva Rockhill, who played the piano for years and taught Sunday School. She never had children of her own, but taught so many of us who did not appreciate her efforts I am sure as we learned "While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night" for the Christmas program one year (I think I can still sing all the verses from memory.) She passed away just this past year during one of my trips to New Jersey.
The children's choir was started and directed by Mrs Janice Green, who was the mother of my sister Dee's friend Karen (I had joined the adult choir when they asked for members one Sunday, but got demoted to join the other children- she had recently joined the congregation with her southern accent. My mother told me that Mrs Green, who passed away this spring, incredibly no longer remembered that she played the organ, due to Alzheimer's,) For a number of years the kids got the opposite side of the front of the church from the choir loft and little white robes to wear while we sang songs like "The Stone is Rolled Away" for Easter.
The whole hinge idea made me think of Mrs Edna Grant, who had once been my SS teacher (she was about my grandmother's age) who volunteered to be my assistant teacher when I wanted to teach VBS as a 17 year old, and simply let me do the planning and teaching as I taught the kindergarten class that year. I think there were six kids, and she was wonderful at suggesting but never taking over to help me start on a long career as a teacher of VBS, which is how I became the person who taught crafts to more than a hundred kids in Ontario, or even to 40 kids who don't speak English last summer!
Of course there is my mother, who drove me to Sunday school for years of perfect attendance pins, and who worked hard one summer to get my sisters and I to memorize the Lords Prayer and the 23rd Psalm, which also came to mind yesterday when the speaker started reciting it, however, I always remember the King James version, because that's the one we did that summer... The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, He makes me Lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the still waters, Yea, though I walk through the Valley of Death, I shall fear no Evil...