Then sings my soul . . .
I have written before about how God continually teaches me that lemons are just blessings waiting to happen. Last Thursday was another one of those chalkboard sessions for me and my Papa. I was disgruntled because one of our vehicles was in the shop, and we had three different directions to travel. Thus, I was forced to rent a vehicle to make a trip to work on my upcoming BIG announcement. (I will admit that our local Enterprise agent is perhaps one of the sweetest people in this town; so, if I had to rent a car, at least, I got to spend time with that ray of sunshine.)
After taking off down the road, I remembered that she said the vehicle had satellite radio. So I decided to channel surf, and I eventually landed on WSM which is the station for the Grand Ole Opry. Right there in that compact car I had a front row seat at the funeral of The Possum, country music legend George Jones.
Listening to story after story, I realized quickly that George Jones could have been my uncle. He embodied the working class of Southerners who work, eat, play, and, most importantly, pray hard. All the things that describe my people: salt of the earth, kind-hearted souls who love Jesus and who love to eat. George faced demons that are similar to ones that are a part of the fabric of my family’s story. The golden voice made us laugh, but the songs that touched me were the ones that made me cry and reminded me that through it all God loves us.
That message was repeated over and over during the moving service. My two favorite speakers were two Mikes: Mike Huckabee and George’s pastor, Mike Wilson. Right there on a South Dakota highway, I was transported to Nashville, listening to the words of encouragement and wisdom. Pastor Mike shared about how the transformed George was beloved by children – much like some of my real uncles, and one who rested in the knowledge of his ultimate destination – again like my uncles. But it was Huckabee’s words that stirred something deep within my heart, bringing to the surface how much I miss “amen’s” from white church pews.
As he spoke my soul was ignited, and out blurted the words that no one heard but me. “Preach on, Governor!” Hands raised (okay, one hand – I was driving) I was praising God for the message that was the Possum’s life. The story was simple. He loved people for who they were and he understood the temptations, traps, and toils that ensnare us all.
George understood that Jesus loves the hardworking men and women of this country. He knew that if Jesus was here today, He would have been at the honky-tonk on Friday night. Not to live the life, but to the love people. ~ Governor Mike Huckabee
So on that day, I was thanking God for rental cars, satellite radio, men brave enough to change our hearts and The Possum.