Monday, January 11, 2010
As soon as I stood up to speak, I noticed Roy. Whenever I preach at the Sunday afternoon worship service at Magnolia Manor, a United Methodist Retirement Center here in Richmond Hill, the men stand out because they are always in the minority. As is the case in most older adult communities, the women greatly outnumber the men. Out of the 25 or so folks worshipping at one these services at the Manor, there are likely to be 4 or 5 men. When I started preaching I saw Roy sitting behind the back pew in his motorized chair. When I finished my sermon, I sat down right in front of Roy. The closing hymn was announced. Even though I had just finished preaching about the wise men from the East, the closing hymn was "He Lives."When we got to the chorus, this strong bass voice sounded from behind me. "He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!" It was so strong I just stopped to listen. Each time we came to the chorus, I ceased singing and listened to the passionate singing of this man who obviously knew about Jesus living in his heart!
It was the highlight of my Sunday. His voice resonated all around as his testimony of faith in Jesus. After the singing was over, I caught up with Roy and told him, "You must have sung in some church choirs along the way." Of course, he had. I did not need him to tell me it was so, but he seemed to enjoy telling me about some of the places where he did.
I do not imagine Roy figured upon leaving his apartment last Sunday afternoon that his voice and his presence would be used by God to provide an act of ministry to another. Seldom do any of us leave home thinking that we are only a few moments away from being used by God to touch another person's life. I am grateful Roy made the effort to go to Vespers. God used him to inspire and encourage this Methodist preacher at the end of a long and tiring day.