Henrietta Loses Her Song
Our faith wavers sometimes. We get sidetracked ‘n not focused on the Lord. That’s what happened to Henrietta Mulberry. She wanted to sing more than she wanted to eat. ‘N she was good at it too. From an early age, Henrietta was a star in our church choir. Whenever there was a solo, the choir director chose her.
But just singin’ on Sundays wasn’t enough for Henrietta. One Wednesday night, she came to choir practice all excited. She said, “I’ve been asked to be the lead singer in the country western band, The Frog Leapers. They travel to clubs all over the South, ‘n there’s even talk of a record deal.” Even though we were excited for her, we were worried ‘bout what that’d do to her faith. Mary Jane asked, “But Henrietta, how are you gonna do all that travelin’ ‘n still come to church?” Henrietta replied, “We won’t be travelin’ every weekend. Lots of weekends we’ll be just over the holler in Hog Waller at the Hog Slop ‘n Suds.”
For awhile, Henrietta came to church whenever the band played close by. But then after a few weeks, she started missin’ a Sunday here ‘n there. Then she stopped comin’ at all. Some of the choir members called her to let her know we felt her absence in the choir. Henrietta told ‘em that after singin’ on Friday ‘n Saturday nights, her voice was too tired to sing at church.
Several months later, Juanita Jo, who used to sing duets with Henrietta, got a call from her. Juanita Jo didn’t even recognize her voice ‘cause it was so hoarse. “What has happened to your voice Henrietta?” asked Juanita Jo. Henrietta said, “The doctor says I may have a nodule on my vocal chords from singin’ too much. He told me that singin’ in all the smoky bars isn’t good for my voice either. I’m goin’ in for a test next week to see what the problem is. If I need surgery, the doctor warned me that I might not be able to sing anymore. I’m feelin’ so hopeless ‘n helpless. If I can’t sing, I don’t have anything to live for. Will you ask everybody in the choir to pray for me please?”
Juanita Jo announced Henrietta’s troubles ‘n request for prayer in church the next Sunday, so we put her on the prayer chain. The next Sunday, Juanita Jo said, “Henrietta’s test didn’t show what the problem was, so the doctor ordered complete rest for her voice. She can’t talk, sing, or even whisper for who knows how long. So, let’s keep our prayers goin’ for her.”
After a couple of weeks, Henrietta showed back up in church, ‘n for the first time in a long time, not in the choir. She had to sit in the congregation ‘n was able to finally take in the preacher’s message of how our lives should be focused on the Lord. Sittin’ there quietly, Henrietta realized that the whole time she’d been singin’, she’d been doin’ it to get praise ‘n attention for herself. Now, she knew God had given her the gift to sing in order to praise Him.
Three months later, we were all surprised when the preacher asked, “Is there anyone that’d like to share what God has done for them lately?” ‘n Henrietta stood up. In a soft but clear voice, she said, “I always loved to sing. It’s all I ever wanted to do. But I’ve realized that I was doin’ it for all the wrong reasons. Durin’ these last months, when I thought I might lose my voice, I became so down ‘n out. I prayed that God would let me sing again. He heard my prayers ‘n answered them. I went to the doctor last week , ‘n he told me I could start singin’ again.”
Henrietta started singin’ in the choir again. This time her voice was even better, ‘cause now she was singin’ for the Lord. ‘Cause Henrietta still wanted to sing more than just on Sundays, she got together with Juanita Jo ‘n a couple of men from the choir ‘n started a gospel quartet. They travel to other churches ‘n gospel sings in the area.
Psalm 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord. (NLT)
Lord, help us to use the talents you've given us to glorify you. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Things To Think 'Bout:
1. How are you usin' your talents?
2. Are they glorifyin' the Lord?