I’ll Hasten to His Throne

I saw the original movie, Loretta Young, David Niven and, heartthrob of the time, 1947, Cary Grant. It was called “The Bishop’s Wife”. I loved it when I was a young girl… watching the possibility of an angel that comes to earth to save a situation, and the miracles that occurred in the neighborhood and in the Bishop’s own marriage. I would watch it as many times as “channel 17” replayed it, back in “the olden days” of the 60’s. This evening I sat and watched another version, not the first time I have seen it, I have my own copy and the soundtrack, now it is called “the Preacher’s Wife”, this time with Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston and Courtney B Vance. Other things needed to be done, but I couldn’t pull myself away from the TV. I got lost in the memories it brought swirling up in my mind; times the church needed to be repaired and there was no money and only one contractor, my dad along with his trusty side kick, my mother. I remember one day seeing her sit on the dusty floor of a room that would become the church Nursery, her face was so dirty that the tears she shed made little tracks down both cheeks. My dad asked her what was wrong, “Harry I’m so tired, it seems like this will never get done and no one wants to help.” His answer “God is our strength Myrtle,” ended with a prayer, him holding her close. When the prayer was done we continued to clean up the dust and begin to paint. Eventually the building was finished, there were a few people who came, and then we got ready for the opening service on that property. We were so excited! The little sanctuary was arranged in a cattycorner way so that more seats could be placed. There was a problem under the tile, some reaction of chemicals that caused grease and glue to ooze up between the tiles, so after each service we got on our hands and knees and cleaned it all up. If there were empty seats in that service, we counted them and would remove that many, so that the next service if more people came we could say that we “had to bring in chairs to accommodate the crowd”! I thought of the Christmas that the Marines had a toy drive, housed in our building, being a part of handing out gifts to children that would otherwise go without. There were times our family had an angel of our own, delivering money for groceries, or a check that paid for pews that were being delivered to the sanctuary and needed to be paid for immediately, and times we were healed. The words “God is our source” were always the first thing my dad would say when we had a need, and He never let us down. I remembered one summer that our family had our suitcases packed on three different occasions to take a few days vacation down in Panama City, Florida, once with the car already loaded, when a member of the congregation would call with a need, or a sickness and our vacation plans were cancelled. No one ever knew, but I know what the family sacrificed to be able to “help somebody”. Today when Whitney began to sing that closing song, “Hasten to His Throne”, I was happy to be alone in that room because my body began to rack with unspent sobs of years gone by and for the loss of the sweet sister singing. I couldn’t stop the flow of tears as these words came forth: “I love the Lord, He heard my cry and pitied every groan, long as I live and troubles rise, I hasten to His throne.” As my tears flowed I thought of that day in the dust with my parents, I felt the strength of God come back into a space that has seemed vacated, and my soul felt refreshed. Thank you Whitney, I hope that your soul found peace and rest as you hastened to His throne. And everyone said… Amen! Peace

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