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Along Twin Ponds Road (Oct. 8 Issue)

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By Ray Willis

“Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place” has never been more true for me than it has the past few weeks. Those words also make up most of the byline of Along Twin Ponds Road, “Surely the Presence of the Lord Is in This ’Space’.”  It was Lanny Wolfe who wrote that wonderful song and who also made a beautiful recording of it with his Lanny Wolfe Trio.

What seems to keep me going lately is the constant realization that the Lord’s presence is indeed with me, no matter where I am or what I’m doing.

If you’ll recall, I recently wrote a column where I shared with you that feeling some of us get when we are out in the dark and become aware, suddenly or not, that there could be danger or Satan lurking nearby, just waiting to reach out and grab us.

You may already have surmised that what I’m about to write is that I was out too early this morning.  Yes, I was jogging and it was too dark.  When I had reached the darkest place on Raven’s Run the yellow lines down the middle were all that I could see to keep me on the road.  I felt the Lord’s presence more acutely this morning, so I did absolutely no turning around to check that wild critters or Satan were not too close behind.

I am also aware that the reason I was out so early this morning, jogging safely, was that the Lord was going to allow my wife Judy and me, for the third day in a row, to drive to Tallahassee to take care of her mother and her Alzheimer's and the awful accompanying dementia.  Flo has had several doctor appointments this week.  Bless her heart; she’s going downhill fast and did not feel well this morning, to boot.

This selfish thought settles in once in awhile: “Whether I feel young or not  -  Hey, I’m  old myself.  Shouldn’t I be the one taken care of?”  I just get these days when I realize that I have already cared for my own father and mother, both who died slow and agonizing deaths,  when here I am again taking care of another parent. You guessed it: I’m feeling sorry for myself.

 What’s important, is that my wife and I are alive and well and in a position to care for someone who really needs it.  I also know that so many of you are burdened more than we could ever be, taking care of your own ailing parents or loved ones. I just hope that you feel the Lord’s presence as much as I do and that you find the same comfort, because He is right there with you, guiding you and leading you ever onward.

 Last Sunday I was allowed to sing that beautiful hymn, “Surely the Presence of the Lord Is in This Place”  to the wonderful congregation at my church, Lake Jackson United Methodist, in nearby Tally.  Talk about feeling His presence!  I am just so grateful that the Lord gave me a voice, that some feel is God’s gift and that I was able to share it with my brothers and sisters.  Thank you wonderful congregation, accompanist, and choir director, Sandy Tyer on the piano, and to able and outgoing pastor Teresa McBain for the kind response and the opportunity to sing for you and to God.  Immediately after I finished singing the hymn I was further blessed when I could read scripture to my brethren.  Oh what a joy!  Do I ever love reading scripture!

One more example of feeling the Lord’s presence in my place (or space).  Just before I returned home from Monday’s walk I met another friendly neighbor.  I had heard much about Eric Hinson and the good things he and his wife have done for education in Gadsden County, but to shake his hand and meet this friendly and accomplished young man was a pleasant experience.

God bless you.