Special People

It’s throwback Tuesday in my head…

Jesus, Jesus, He is the son of God
Jesus, Jesus, the precious son of God
Sweetest Rose of Sharon came to set us free
Jesus, Jesus, He’s everything to me
Yes, He’s all the world to me

I can’t hear this old song without thinking of Houston, Texas and Greenridge Baptist Church. Thirty years ago. Wow… It looks like more when I write it that way. I was the pianist there, mostly by default. We had moved to Houston for the work, and began attending that little church because it was closest to our apartment. I was a young wife and mother of only one small child then. We showed up one Sunday morning and there was no one available to play, except the organist who was our Pastor’s wife, so I volunteered.

The bench was mine for four years… Until we moved away. Those were four of the most blessed years of my life. I loved that little group of believers, and the pastor and his family became my family. So far away from home, raising a family, a girl needs someone to count on, and they were there for me. Brother Joe Stevens would preach, and Miss Joy and I played organ and piano every service. Their son, Rodney, lead the music while their other boys, Greg and Barry, sang in the choir or played “specials.”

Barry was 16 when I began teaching him piano lessons. He was a natural and already played by ear some… Loved to play the music from the band, Journey. We worked and practiced in between basketball, youth group, another child for me, going off to college for him. And one day everything changed.

We had come home to Kentucky on vacation that summer, but never left. We found jobs here, close to family, and stayed. I was working and couldn’t go back to Houston to pack up the house or say goodbye. Those were some of the darkest days of my life. I grieved the loss of my Texas family almost as if they had truly died. But God is good, and He is faithful to bring joy from the pain.

Because I was gone, guess who ended up on that piano bench every service… Barry! He took over because he had to, and played for years with his mom at the organ. He left there and went on to form a contemporary Christian band in the northern Houston area, wrote lots of his own music, and continues to play every chance he gets.

The song in my head is one that I used to play and sing at that tiny little church, and it’s one of Barry’s favorites. It’s funny (and awe-inspiring to me) how God used my grief at leaving a place I loved, to fulfill His plans for a young man who loves music and loves The Lord. Had I stayed, BJ may never have become the musician he is now. My closed door was his open window!! I still look for those opportunities. When the door is shut, and the window’s not open yet, I try to praise Him in the hallway.

The cover photo is Barry at the piano and his brother, Rodney standing.  @1986

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2 thoughts on “Special People

  1. Martha, I may not “reply’ on all of your blog entries but I do read them all and I absolutely love them. How all of this music is running through your head each morning when you wake is nothing short of a GOD thing. What a blessing it must be to wake each morning to the love of Christ through his songs. This particular blog entry is extra special to me for obvious reasons.. In reading this blog entry I think back to those four wonderful years you all were in Houston and how profound that time was. As you know, as I have told you this many times over the years. I believe with all of my heart that GOD sent you all to Houston for one particular reason and that was so you would be there at the perfect time in my life to teach me piano. Christ has a plan for everyone’s life, he places people in our life and sometimes removes people from our life but it’s all in HIS perfect plan for our life. Just as you stated, Greenridge Baptist Church didn’t have a pianist that Sunday morning you first visited so you volunteered to play and then became our pianist, Christ knew I needed the perfect piano teacher. You see, just a piano teacher would NOT have worked, it had to be YOU because that was GODS plan for my life at the time. That short time in my life were some of the best times and rewarding times I have ever had. Back then we all loved and adored your wonderful family and to this day we still do. I praise GOD that he sent you to me and for as long as I live I will never stop thanking him for putting you in my life. One more thing….. Yes, I do love that song you refer to in this blog. I cannot hear it without hearing you playing and singing it. Oh how I would love for you to video playing and singing this song and posting it so I could hear you sing it once again. You are a true blessing to all and a GOD sent. Thank you for your love and your willingness to share your talent at the piano with me. Because of this, my life has been immensely enriched and blessed.

    Barry

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