The psalm pump… and children’s songs.
Once upon a time, in the distant past, I lived in the beautiful village of Diever (NL). I was blessed to live there until (approximately) I was 10 years old, after which we moved to “the big city”. When we lived in that small village, I went to a church with my parents. And actually, I can’t remember much about that church. It’s the little things, like the smell of the coconut floor mats, the smell of the vacuum cleaner, the mints I looked for after the services (Mom and Dad worked as care takers in that church), the smell of coffee and the “church cakes”. (bastogne cakes). Nothing else, nothing from the sermons, nothing…
But there is one other thing I do remember… the organ (aka the psalm pump) and… the songs.
And I had no idea what I was singing. Really, no idea. Example?
What the future may bring, the Lord’s hand guides me,Translated from old dutch to English
Let’s be honest… suppose you are 7 years old… and someone says: “What the future may bring, the Lord’s hand guides me,”. Say what? Guide? Who am I / me? What kind of hand and what is a future? So, in all honesty… I had no idea. Zero. I think I had to learn them too because otherwise how would I have known them today? Because when we moved to the big city, my parents also went to another church and I never sang those songs again. (because that other church also had completely(!) different songs). So it’s actually strange that I still know them… and why do I know them at all? Why did anyone ever put the time into teaching them to me? I can also imagine that the person who tried to teach me has also wondered that: Why am I doing this? All those little children are jumping around, they don’t really learn, I just try to keep them in line, what a job…
And here’s the thing… last week was no party on the mission field this side. On the contrary. It was tough, very tough, and we’re not done with it yet. I’ll spare you the details, but humanly speaking it’s pretty miserable… and then… that psalm pump turned on in my head:
What the future may bring, the Lord’s hand guides me.
Later, much later, I learned who that Lord is and how He guides us. And now, years later, while we are working as missionaries in Poland…. everything came together…
And what does this mean to you as a reader? Well, maybe you work in that Sunday school, maybe you participate in a church in some form, and you sometimes think… what am I doing all this for? As a parent, you may also have that idea… I put so much into it, but will anything ever come out???
If that feeling comes over you, think back to that little boy in the Netherlands, who learned songs that he had no idea what they meant at the time… but now, years later, it keeps us “up” with so much headwind … You may never find out “for what is this”, but let this be a lesson… for That reason.
You are one link in someone’s life, just like in my life those songs were in that church, Miss Biesterbosch with her flannel board, and Eddy Morees in the building of the “trumpet”…. And together with mom, dad, and many other things. But all those things were necessary to complete the puzzle today in dark days on this side.
Greetings and God bless from Poland.