Morning by Morning…

He is one of those larger than life figures – the kind of person that others are just drawn to.

Dr. Sam is a distinguished African American professor at our local university and a regular at my favorite morning hangout. Every morning he makes the rounds up and down the aisles here at Panara, laughing with and encouraging most anyone that will give him eye contact.

Just a few minutes ago he spotted me from across the bakery and yelled “How’s the preacher man doing this morning?” I gave him a warm, sheepish smile and nod, uncomfortable that we now had the attention of most of the restaurant. Some mornings I’d rather just stay tucked in my cozy booth with my Hazelnut coffee and laptop. But today I was about to have company.

He worked his way to my booth and greeted me with a hearty handshake and smile that would brighten any sleepy morning. We traded small talk and soon landed on the subject of faith. Dr. Sam said, ‘I knew you were going there preacher man”. For the next few minutes he told me how disconnected he has felt from God and out of fellowship with his local church.

Wanting to sound spiritual, I tossed out a line from an old hymn (hate when I do that, soooo cliche). In an effort to somehow encourage him I said “Morning by morning new mercies I see.

I was grasping.

Dr. Sam caught his breath as a tear welled up in his eye. “When my grandmother passed away I sang that song at her funeral” he said. While learning the song it was then that he felt closest to His Creator. He searched his mind for the lyrics and then began to sing…OUT LOUD:

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Some around us cheered while others looker perturbed. Dr. Sam and I just smiled at each other. God is good.

As he walked away from my table, I was reminded of His faithfulness. At any point in our life we can run back to our Creator – His mercies are new…morning by morning.

God bless you Dr. Sam.

Great is His faithfulness to you and to me.


5 responses to this post.

  1. WOW! I have Chills… God sized chills!!!

  2. Good post!!!

  3. Posted by Rob on April 30, 2008 at 5:32 PM

    That’s awesome……………I believe I have only one time before been someplace where someone broke into song in a public place. and I still remember it to this day. Thanks for the reminder of new mercies each and every day.

  4. Posted by judy on May 1, 2008 at 8:46 AM

    What a great story! You wrote, “in an effort to somehow encourage him.” You seem to do it so effortlessly. I have already wished I could be an encourager like you. Isn’t it just something that God brought that line to your mind in that moment? So, I guess what you do is recognize and seize the moments. It is amazing what a few kind words can do for a person and just imagine the impact on Dr. Sam’s day and all those who were given the grace to be in his audience. Wouldn’t you love to hear the retelling from some of those strangers and see the ripple effect of that one moment in time?

  5. Donny – God is good that way. I miss you bro.

    Kate – thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you again.

    Rob – hey bro. i’ve heard you sing in public…mercy!

    Judy – dont you just love that still small voice that leads us every moment of every day?

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