It's been nine months now, since we lost Mom. And, oh how things have changed. The hot sticky summer has suddenly passed into a bone chilling winter. Even though the cold snowy evenings make you want to snuggle by the fire with a good book, the unforgettable memories continue to roll, like a sad movie score.
If I could only just get over that "still small voice". The one that keeps haunting me by continuing to visit me in my loneliness. Yes, those bumps in the road will somehow turn into smooth sailing, in spite of the memories, the voice keeps lamenting. Remember that scripture verse. You know Mom's favorite verse she use to quote all the time, when things seemed bad. But that still small voice never continued the conversation, by telling me what I need to do or where I need to go, to fine this happiness, the voice so vividly announced.
Suddenly one evening, as if a train had hit me, I said to myself," I know. I'll go have an ice cream. Yes, that's what I'll do. When I was a kid, and yes I was once a kid you know, the ice cream always seemed to fix everything".
As I entered the Ice Cream Scoop, I observed that all familiar scene. Mr. Johnson was standing behind the counter, smiling from ear to ear, wrapped in that big ice cream apron. . The one with all 30 flavors of ice cream so artistically displayed. And I joked, as I always do, that apron will surely wind up in the Smithsonian Institution some day.
I think I'll have the Raspberry Swirl, Mr. Johnson, and make it a double. Well, Faith you must really be depressed, Mr. Johnson said, as he handed me the big cure all ice cream. Then suddenly, as if I had seen a ghost, some images appear through the front window, half blocked by the frosted snow. Listen, Mr. Johnson, they are singing, what appears to be a Church Hymn.
Is it Christmas all ready, I ask myself. It can't be. Summer has just left us. But why else would this group be singing on a street corner, in this miserable weather? However, as I concentrated on the music, the words became all the more familiar. By golly, it is a hymn and they have brought the church to us.
Suddenly, I felt the urge, as if Mom was pulling my ear again, to run outside slamming the door behind me. As I left the store, I seemed to be pulled, like a magnet, closer to the singing group. Oh yes, it is cold here. However, the weather did not seem to hinder these happy people.
Something was surely very different, about these people. They were all wearing strange looking uniforms and the ladies were even wearing unique type bonnets. Why, one of the men was even waving a banner, which read "The Salvation Army", as they sang the hymns. The group seemed happy and sang like they believed every word of the song. I've heard this hymn before, I said to myself, and I have never felt as these people seem to feel. They had a message and they were going to get it out, regardless of the weather.
When the singing ended, the leader of the group opened an old tattered Bible. His words stammered and his speech frosted, due to the frigid cold weather, as he began to read. What's this! Why its Moms favorite scripture.
"For we know that all things work together for good, to those who are called
According to his purpose".
After the reading, the man, looked straight at me, and started talking as if he had known me all my life. Then, as if by Divine impulse, the man laid an old drum down, on the sidewalk, and asks if anybody would like to kneel and pray with him. And guess what, that "still small voice" returned to my memory. Only this time, the voice did finish by telling me how I could have a personal relationship with this living GOD, the man had so vividly spoken about.
Suddenly, it all came home to me, as the frozen tears stuck to my face. I then started shouting "Hallelujah", in my heart, and as by that same Divine uncontrollable impulse, my heart started singing Moms favorite Hymn
"Amazing Grace How Sweet The Sound, That Saved A Wretch Like Me.
I Once Was Lost But Now I'm Found. Was Blind But Now I See".
Oh yes, what happened to my ice cream, you may ask. Well it melted away, as did my sinful heart. God truly is love and His salvation is surely free. I got a double dip of Gods Grace that day. Unlike the ice cream, this Grace will never melt away.
Mr. Robey is a life long supporter of The Salvation Army. His father Brigadier Charles Robey, who has been Promoted to Glory, served the Salvation Army for over a half of century.