Wednesday, December 28, 2005

This One is For Tony

Polly over at Mossback Meadow wrote a great post an important aspect of the Lutheran Liturgy: memorization and how, through this memorization, or at least familiarity allows for a fuller worship. In this case it is the Brother-in-Law of her pastor....

She wrote about her pastor's Brother-in-law, Patrick. He was able to worship in his own way because he knows the liturgy. He is able to sing and pray and follow along and worship his Lord in a comfortable place.

I wrote the following on Sept. 1, 2002. We had just moved to Indiana and my father had officially "retired" from the ministry just a few days prior. I wrote in my online diary an entry titled "Joyful Noises," I just reread it for the first time in a long time, it still brings a smile and a tear.
"my father retired last week. he retired from the active ministry, most of you know that already (that is if you read the entries pertaining to that last week... lol). his retirement service was moving. i had a lump in my throat is it was going on.
i want to say a word about the residents my father ministered to in the last six years of his ministry.

my father was a chaplain to 60 or 70 retarted people. some were very high functioning and some were just a step above vegatable. he was very proud of his residents (he called them that). you see sometimes they can be very loud and vocal. but this day they were well behaved. they were perfect.

when we sang a hymn his residents would, too. any way they could, in some cases they just hooted. there was one, whose name i don't remember, that had the ability to sing any song he heard just once. he sang along with us almost perfectly. i don't know if he knew the words he was singing, but he sang any way. it was just touching as all get out.

then we said the Lord's Prayer. they spoke it. some did it verbally, others through hoots. but they said it in their own way.

what is it that the bible says about "make a joyful noise unto the Lord?" they did and it was music to my ears."

Who is Tony that I mention in the title? Tony was one of the most loving and good people I have ever met. He he Down's Syndrome, but he had the Faith. He believed. He was almost like a little elder for to my dad. He would come in and check to make sure everything was okay and talk with my dad, or I, or my mom. He lived in a group home that was administered by Bethesda Lutheran Services and on Sunday he took the collection and was an usher during communion services. Sadly, before we moved from Texas Tony was dealt, what seemed like to me a raw deal, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease (which is common in people with Down's Syndrome) and he quickly forgot how to do thinks like take communion, he died a few months after we left Texas, but I know he died with Faith.

I'm not sure if this entry makes, but these are thoughts that were dusted off after reading Polly's entry.

1 comment:

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