Tonight we wrap up the New Testament class at church.
When I read John’s description of the holy city with pearly gates in Revelation 21, my mind flashed back to my Norwegian grandfather, Elias Tveten.
Years ago, grandpa beckoned me to take my seat at their old upright piano in Brooklyn, New York. He loved to sing.
“What would you like to sing, Grandpa?”
“Da pearly gates, den Trust and Obey.”
Grandpa stood erect, all 6′ plus, blessed with a thick head of white hair and fjord-blue eyes. Never one to slouch, he rested one hand atop the upright, planted his feet as if getting ready to sing one of the world’s great arias, which for him, it was.
Actually, it wasn’t the pearly gates or golden streets drew forth the song but “tinking” about Yee-sus… Jesus, the One who’d welcome him some day to a prepared place, something worth singing about when you grew up an angry, lonely orphan in Norway. Imagine what it would mean to hear Yee-sus say, “Elias, come on in. You’re home” in Norwegian!
When we got to the chorus, Grandpa pumped his fist into the air, like he’d received the greatest gift, which he had.
“He da pearly gates vill open, so dat I may enter in; for he purchased my redemption, and forgave me all my sin.”
Grandpa might not have gotten all the pronunciations correct, but he knew who to tank for redemption and forgiveness, then simply ‘Trust and Obey.”
I’m now as old as he, when he bid me play so he could sing.
Good reminder to be willing to sit and play so someone else can sing. You never know when it’ll come with one of life’s large lessons, a God gift.
Tusen takk, Grandpa. (a thousand thanks)
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