Friday, March 24, 2017
Oh Happy Day! ...
"Oh, Happy Day, Oh, Happy Day.
When Jesus washed, my Jesus washed...
all my sins away. Oh, Happy Day!"
-From the Movie, Sister Act
Want a day-brightener? Watch this amazing, short song! :)
One of the great luxuries of being a "senior citizen" is being able to reminisce about anything and everything.
I am continually amazed at how just seeing a picture or object can bring up a wealth of old stories. What's more, the face of the story teller is often animated as if the remembered event happened yesterday.
For example, my dear hubby, Bert, was/is a Paratrooper. And yes, Paratrooper is spelled with a capital P in our home. Bert's time in the military, jumping out of airplanes in the line of duty, is a precious part of my dearly beloved's life story.
We can be in a restaurant and Bert will see another senior gentleman wearing a paratrooper hat, and suddenly Bert is up from his seat, introducing himself to a comrade.
While they don't technically know each other, they truly KNOW
each other in ways I can never understand. That paratrooper hat set it all off and before long they are engulfed in old stories about their time in the service.
Reminiscing to their heart's content. :) :)
It always puts a smile on my face to see how animated they are...
almost as if it all took place yesterday.
While it wasn't a paratrooper hat that set off the sea of old memories for me that I am writing about in this post, I saw something that started me reminiscing.
Something that brought back a flood of old memories.
There I was in Target on a simple errand. Side note: We feel quite luxurious to have a Target on the south hill, where we live in Spokane, as it saves us a trip to the valley or north side.
On that day, early last week, I was walking down the aisles searching for an item...and there it was....
A simple sign, made with reclaimed wood.
Three words in script...
I stood and just stared at it. And then, without consciously knowing it, I started to hum the song "Oh Happy Day" from Sister Act, a movie from way back. In the movie, there was a choir of African-American teenagers, from the inner-city, and their choir director, played by Whoopie Goldberg, was a nun.
The story was one that resonated with me on multiple levels.
The gist of the story is about a woman, in the witness protection program, who leaves her old life and has been given a new identity. As a nun she is working at an inner city Catholic school and ends up directing a choir of inner city teens. They go to a choir contest and the song they choose to sing is...you guessed it...
"Oh, Happy Day!"
Remembering the movie and song came from seeing the sign. This simple three word sign also brought back lots of other memories I had long forgotten about, or at least shelved for the present. There I was at Target, in a daze, reminiscing internally about a plethora of things.
Reminiscence #1: I taught for three years at an inner city middle school with young people who felt helpless and hopeless.
We put on plays/dramas/musicals so the students could find a way to positively express their emotions.
Seeing the sign reminded me of the song which reminded me of the movie which reminded me of my work with inner city teens. Isn't it amazing how the brain God gave us can hold all of those puzzle pieces and then right there in Target put the puzzle piece together for us? Thank you, Lord!
Reminiscence #2: As a young girl I grew up in the Catholic Church. While I didn't go to a Catholic school, every Saturday
I had classes, taught by nuns, on the Catholic religion. At that
time, most of the church services were in Latin, and I felt pretty disconnected from all of the rituals. However, I did have a huge fear of nuns and purgatory. Seeing the sign reminded me of the movie, (which had a nun as a central figure), which reminded me
of my own experiences with nuns many years ago.
More puzzle pieces coming together.
Years later, when I was in the 9th grade, I went to Malibu, a non-denominational Christian camp, and gave my heart to Jesus.
Suddenly I saw God differently. For me, at least, He became more personal and I asked Jesus to be my Savior. At Malibu, we sang the song "Oh Happy Day!" That all came back just with seeing the sign.
All of this...all of these memories came flooding in...right there in an aisle at Target. As I left the memories behind, and tried to come back to the moment at hand, I realized that I had stopped humming "Oh, Happy Day!"
Oh, my goodness... I had started to sing it out loud!
Just seeing that sign had made me so happy that I burst into song.
So, long story short, the sign came home with me. It was an unintended gift to my spirit, and today Bert and I hung it up in our hall. I can see it clearly from my favorite chaise as I sit and drink my coffee and have my prayer time.
This morning, over coffee, we reminisced some more about all of our "OH HAPPY DAY!" memories and played the video clip from Sister Act. That clip found us smiling, singing along and even clapping. The words of the song speak to my faith and my spirit.
It is an "Oh Happy Day"to know that, like the song says, my Jesus washed, yes, my Jesus washed, all my sins away. It is an"Oh Happy Day" to know that He taught me how to live and how to pray.
It seems like no coincidence that, on top of everything else that came from seeing this sign, that Bert and I go to Bethel AME, a primarily African-American church.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if this Sunday our choir started to sing "Oh, Happy Day!"
Sometimes God just works like that!
God Bless and please play that short video clip at the start of this blog post. I promise, it will make your day!!!
Hugs and loves and prayers!
"We are all just walking each other home." ...