I Stood

Light filtered through old oak trees, lighting my bedroom floor. I knelt. I prayed. The time I spend with God is precious. This morning I opened The Salvation Army Songbook that belonged to my father. Smiling, I noticed his handwriting smudged on the page. All caps—black marker—written with Daddy’s left hand.

Above the song he wrote, “ONE OF BILLY GRAHAM’S FAVORITE SONGS.” Written by Fanny Crosby. Blind, yet with 20/20 spiritual vision.

I read through the song. Before stanza two, Dad wrote, “WHAT A STANZA! PRAISE GOD! The verse read:

“O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood!
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.”

After that stanza he wrote, “NO OTHER STANZA CAN MATCH IT IN THE SONGBOOK.”

I couldn’t help it. I stood, palms raised upward and I sang,

“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father through Jesus the Son,
And give him the glory; great things he hath done!

Dad edited the last verse. He replaced the third person pronouns with first person.

“Great things he hath taught me, great things he hath done.
And great my rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer and higher and greater will be,
My wonder, my rapture, when Jesus I see.

Under the stanza he wrote, “Sight!”

It was personal for Ray Wert. It has to be personal for us. We have a personal God. One who desires us. Loves us.

I pictured my father, seeing Jesus as I sang. Legs healed, body whole, soul complete.

When I finished singing, I thanked God for a godly heritage. Not a perfect one. But a man who had a heart for God. A man who realized his sinfulness and depended on grace.

Praise the Lord.

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