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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Repeat (01/24/13)

TITLE: Oh How He Loves Me
By Phee Paradise
01/30/13


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Martha gripped the chair in front of her when she stood with the congregation for the last song. Her granddaughter bounced to the music beside her, raising both arms and pointing toward heaven. While Kayla sang with joy, Martha read the words on the screen but pressed her lips together.

As they walked out of church, Kayla hummed the song, taking little dancing steps beside her grandmother.

“Please stop,” Martha said. “I don’t want it stuck in my head all day.”

“Why don’t you like music, Grandma?”

Martha grimaced “I love music. Just not this kind. It’s so repetitive.” The worship songs the church was using now were hard to sing and were too loud. She simply didn’t like modern worship music.

“What do you mean?”

“You know.” Martha started chanting, “Oh how He loves me, oh how He loves me, oh how He loves me, oh how He loves me . . .”

Kayla grinned at her grandmother. “Well, He does, doesn’t He?”

“Of course, but there are much more creative ways to say it. ‘The love of God, is greater far, than song or tongue can ever tell . . .’” Martha started to sing, but stopped mid-word. Somehow it felt wrong to argue about God’s love. She should be an example for Kayla.

“Hymns are repetitive too.” Kayla wasn’t ready to give up the argument. “Standing, standing, standing, standing, standing.” She danced around her grandmother and stopped in front of her with a stamp of each foot. “On the promises.”

Martha couldn’t resist a response. “That’s one song. You won’t find many others.”

“Really? I bet I can.” Kayla ran off at her mother’s call, but looked back to say, “Just wait.”

“She doesn’t even know any hymns,” Martha muttered. “I can find a lot more of her songs that are repetitive.” She immediately felt ashamed of herself.

That night Kayla sent an e-mail with a list of hymns. Martha sang the familiar words, looking for repetition.

“and crown Him Lord of all”

“may Jesus Christ be praised”

Twice in the song hardly counts as repetitive. But I guess Power in the Blood would count.

She didn’t respond right away, but she started thinking about the songs they had sung in church recently. She jotted them down as she heated some soup and sat at the table eating it. The next morning she sent Kayla her list without comment.

Kayla’s response was also short – “LOL” - followed by another list. Martha hadn’t even heard of some of the titles on it. She found an old hymnal in her bookcase and looked them up. She had to admit that her granddaughter had been thorough in her research.

Probably used the internet, not a hymnal.

As she rifled through the pages of her book, it fell open to one of her favorite hymns. “O worship the King,” she sang, her voice rising with the familiar words.

After singing every verse, she sat looking at the book, feeling the joy this song always brought her. Worship the King. That’s why we sing.

The shame she had felt when she first responded to Kayla’s challenge returned. Does it really matter whether songs are repetitive? Does it even matter whether I like them?

She bowed her head and asked forgiveness for a selfish and critical spirit she knew she had been harboring for a while. Then she wrote to Kayla.

“Sweetie, you’ve made your point. But I learned something more important from you. We sing to worship God and the style of music doesn’t matter. I love that you love to worship Him and I’m looking forward to worshipping with you on Sunday.”

Martha clicked send, closed the computer and started singing, “Oh how He loves me.”


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Member Comments
Member Date
Camille (C D) Swanson 01/31/13
Very good points in this well written and authentic tale. I could see the entire scenario unfolding before my eyes as I read.

Some individuals love hymns and others love the more modern praise and worship songs. But, the message should be abundantly clear in all songs...it's all about HIM and not US. It is to Him we sing, and worship. So, very good point in wrapping it up with those sentiments. Great job with this piece. Loved it.

God bless~
Virgil Youngblood 01/31/13
You have addressed a current topic in a thoughtful way. The second sentence,"Her granddaughter bounced to the music beside her" caused a stumble as I was reading. I assumed you meant,"Her granddaughter (beside her) bounced to the music." Your conclusion left a warm feeling and was uplifting.
Carolyn Ancell02/04/13
Carolyn Ancell02/04/13
There are multiple lessons and meanings in here: the familiarity of words; repetition; grandmother/grandaughter interaction. All done in a playful way, which makes even me "bounce" along beside you.
Loren T. Lowery02/07/13
Like Grandma here, it's something I sometimes struggle with, too. I like the way you've presented this in your story. Certainly an eye opener and food for thought...and of course - entirely true. Congratulations on your EC!
Joe Moreland02/07/13
I don't know how I missed this one this week, Phee. I really thought I had read all of the level 4 entries. But somehow I skipped over this one. I think it was a God thing, because it has a lot more meaning to me this morning.

My children (all teenagers) are wanting to go on a mission trip to Cuba this summer. As part of the exploring process we went last night to a worship service held by the group from Cuba we would be partnering with. Needless to say, the service and worship music was in Spanish. But as they sang their songs, I FELT the Lord's presence without understanding a single word.

It hit me in that moment, just how true it is that it's about Him and not the band, the singers or the words. Then I discover this wonderful story that I somehow missed and it's like God is speaking directly to me.
Margaret Kearley 02/07/13
What an excellent theme for the topic. You have hit on a subject that so sadly causes so much disagreement and unrest. Surely the enemy loves to halt the praises of God - whether ancient or modern in type. Like many others, I love some of the old and some of the new and have to be careful of wrong attitudes to differing opinions. Thank you so much for illustrating this so powerfully and so well. Congratulations on your EC.
Bea Edwards 02/09/13
O lovely reminder that it 'isn't the style' simply that we worship Him. I enjoyed the way you presented this topic that often causes division, yet should be a non issue. Congratulations on your EC placing.