Saturday, April 17, 2010

"Let Me Be There"

Today brings us to the end of my memories and stories about my years at Springfield Friends Meeting.  Although I am certain other thoughts will come back to me as time goes by, tomorrow I will be moving on to the process that took Marilyn and I from High Point, NC to Kissimmee, FL.  These past few months of story telling have been a wild ride, and I again find myself thanking God for all of the blessings we received from our time at SFM.  It has been so amazing to hear from old friends like Ken Hill, Ashley Goad Broadhurst, Beth Brown, Will Rees, Keri Vinson Johnston, Heather Beggs Varner, Cheryl Deal Meadows, James Robinson, Jill Gilbreth Bryant, Emily Beggs Hill, Mandy Beggs, Todd Farlow, Ann Saunders Hale, Charles Freedle and more.  I hope these memories have been good ones, and I hope to keep hearing from you in the days to come.  You guys mean a great deal to us.

I said yesterday that there was one moment at our farewell dinner that will forever define my relationship with the youth of Springfield.  After the pies in the face (and on top of the head- both Marilyn and I were covered in whipped cream!) the group wanted to sing one more song.  One last song.  For the previous songs they had sung that night, Bob Spencer, our choir director, had played guitar for them.  For this last song they wanted me to play.  They wanted to sing Let Me Be There.  The song was an old country/pop tune that had been a hit for Olivia Newton John in the 1970's, and that we had been singing at TNT for a number of years. I never thought of it as a spiritual song- it was just fun.  But as we sang it for the last time, the meaning of the words became crystal clear to me and the only thing that kept me from breaking down was the whipped cream in my eyes.  Here are those lyrics:

Wherever you go, wherever you may wander in your life
Surely you know, I always want to be there
Holding your hand, and standing by to catch you when you fall
Seeing you through in everything you do

Let me be there in your morning
Let me be there in your night
Let me change whatever's wrong
and make it right (make it right)
Let me take you through that wonderland
that only two can share
All I ask you is let me be there (oh let me be there)

Watching you grow and going through the changes in your life
That's how I know, I always want to be there
Whenever you feel you need a friend to lead on, here I am
Whenever you call, you know I'll be there

I had spent 8 years "being there" for one of the greatest groups of kids anyone has ever had the privilege to serve, and the love we shared would remain strong for several years more.  God had called Marilyn and I to a new ministry, and we were going to be faithful to that call.  But as someone once wrote, "Miles may separate as life moves along, but the bond between friends will remain ever strong."  As I write this, I suddenly wish I had some whipped cream in my eyes...    I love you guys.

Because of Jesus,

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