Chapter Fifty Eight
The new Christian, Mary suggested it. A benefit for the displaced people of Ravenna, held right here on the bluff overlooking the city on a Saturday night so it wouldn’t interfere with services. Mary overheard from Elise about the choirs and others who wanted to come and sing for the Lord, and for these poor homeless people. “Elise, I think that choir idea is great, but we have so many here to share, maybe testimonies, or a song, whatever. I used to think some kind of grand affair was the way to go, but now I prefer a service like Herb and Diane.”
Elise nodded her head and stopped her cleaning to look at Mary. “It’s a grand idea on its own. Doesn’t need more than what you mentioned. That phrase sure did catch on quick. Kind of says it all for the church and what we’re trying to do. Simple and true, straight from the heart, for the Glory of God.” She smiled in memory. “I even heard some of the youth usin’ it. There’s worse, I suppose. Do you really think you can find ’nough talent ’round here?”
Mary pointed past the open parking lot into Tent City. “Have you spent an evening in Tent City lately? Some guy named Brad has quite a deep baritone. He sings a song ‘bout havin’ peace in a storm that gives me the chills whenever I hear him sing it. I could do ‘Make Me A Blessing’ again. I know there are others an’ probably ’nough choir members from the various churches to put together a local chorus of some sort. We’ll put in some testimonies an…” She stopped in mid sentence as her mind wandered, watching the service in her mind. “I wonder ’bout that old banker, what’s his name?”
Elise smiled at the thought of Reggie. “You must mean Reggie. Sure. He might be old but he sure has Spirit…, wow. What a change. Did you hear about his homes on Counters Bluff Estates?”
“You mean those three empty mansions?”
“Yup, that’s the ones. He opened up two of them for those mothers with children from the church basement and now Tent City too, and the third, ha, you’ll never believe it.”
“So that’s what the stir is ’bout. Why? What ’bout the third one?”
Elise squeezed her hands together, her petite frame shaking as she told the news. “He opened it up for those bikers of ours, all six of them. What a great example to all of us, just like the new motto, and definitely for the Glory of God. He said God told him to do it, and get this, in a vision in the middle of the night. He looked tired and dirty when he explained it to us in the morning, but his eyes…, they were like…, on fire for the Lord. I’ll never forget his face when he spoke…, as if he were the happiest man on earth…, and at peace with God.”
Mary nodded in understanding. “Yes. That’s it. Others can share how God saved them in Ravenna, and healed too, like that precious little girl in the auditorium, so broken, and God healed her – just like that.”
Elise paused in thought. “You know. A week ago I wouldn’t have imagined any of this. And now? We’re talkin’ ’bout a testimony and praise service for God on national TV. It’s so…”
Mary brightened up from her serious tone. “Yes. Too much isn’t it. And that’s exactly what we’re going to share. God is too much…, too much Love…, too much Power…, I know for me, too much for the darkness to hide. I’m so glad I got out of my disgusting pit of darkness.
“Wow, that’s so cool. What a gift, and yeah, what a testimony too. Hmmm, I wonder if he’d share his testimony? Wouldn’t the community be shocked to see and hear the bank president and owner stand up for Jesus?”
Elise pulled back. Lord, you know the others. Go ahead of this idea Lord, if it’s your will, to ring others to sing or share. Oh God, this feels so right. Thank you Lord.
Mary didn’t answer for a moment, stopped by a thought. “Elise, if the bank president can give testimony, then, well…, so can I. An’ I’ll do it too. Might surprise a few men about town, hmmm.”