Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Youth Page

Written by Peter Langbroek
Melanie was allowed to go with the Young PeopleÕs group. She could go with her sister Trish to sing at Oma and Opa's house. There she stood beside the grandfather clock in front of the tall teenagers who circled the wall of the small living room.

Melanie watched Oma. She sat in a high-backed chair with a pillow pressed behind her lower back. Her grey hair was tied in a bun. Her face looked tired, but she smiled. Beside her, on the side of the chesterfield was Opa, looking stern but pleased, his legs crossed.

Melanie sang, her soft high voice among the low loud voices of the tall boys behind her. They sang:

Come, ye faithful, raise the strain
Of triumphant gladness;
God hath brought His Israel
Into joy from sadness;
Loosed from Pharoah's bitter yoke
Jacob's sons and daughters;
Led them with unmoistened foot
Thru' the Red Sea waters.

For a moment Oma closed her eyes to hear the voices. How beautiful, she thought! How kind! Her back hurt. Her head ached, but it seemed to go away for a while. She opened her eyes, looked around, and saw her granddaughter watching her. She smiled at her. Of all her granddaughters, Melanie looked so much like her. Such energy, such youth--the memories flooded her mind. How she used to run and hop and play like her. How she used to sing like them. The Young People group sang the second verse:

It is the spring of souls today;
Christ hath burst the prison,
And from three daysÕ sleep in death
As a sun hath risen.
All the winter of our sins,
Long and dark is flying
From His light, to whom we give
Laud and praise undying.

Oma looked at Opa. Their eyes met. She knew he remembered too. It was where they met, in the packed hall, as young people, singing in the choir. There was nothing to do that Fall of 1943 in the small town in central Holland but sing. Opa smiled. She remembered walking in the cold November nights, laughing with Opa and her brothers as they walked in the polder [land pumped dry by windmills]. When they reached the town, they filed in rows on the bricked sidewalk. They faced the homes and they sang, their fresh faces stung red by the wind.

Oma looked at the young people surrounding her. She knewÑa few more years. How time flies. They were singing verse 4 of the Psalm:

Neither might the gates of death,
Nor the tomb's dark portal,
Nor the watchers, nor the seal
Hold thee as a mortal
But today amidst the twelve
Thou didst stand, bestowing
That thy peace which evermore
Passes human knowing.

There were pains, yes; but as Oma remembered, there was always that joy. She thought of how the Lord revealed Himself to her when she was young. He is faithful. Her pain will disappear, Oma knew. Her sins wereÉ; they are forgiven! She thought of Psalm 32 which she had read that afternoon: "For this shall everyone that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverence" (Psalm 32: 6,7).

The singing stopped. Silence. Then Trish spoke. "Oma," she smiled, "now it's your turn to pick a song we can sing for you.

Oma looked at the coffee table and picked up a Psalter. She searched a while. She found the page. "Please sing Psalter 83."

That November night, while the wind whistled, and the leaves blew, songs filled the living room of a small townhouse. Oma closed her eyes to hear them sing--the young people surrounded her with songs of deliverance.

Read 1654 times
More in this category: « Youth Page Youth Story »