And the miracles continued, Beverly Walker had requested a memorial service for her husband on what would have been his sixty-fifth birthday, Since the date fell close to Easter that year, it seemed especially fitting that the service included an encore solo from the Messiah, The Trumpet Shall Sound. Cliff Johnson was more than willing to sing in Charles Walker’s honor, but there was doubt as to whether the trumpet player the church had hired would be willing and available to return for the service.
Providentially, he was free that day and actually excited to take part in such a tribute.
As the multitude of family, friends, and admirers listened, Cliff sang:
"The trumpet shall sound ... and the dead shall be raised, Be raised incorruptible ..." .
A joyous atmosphere of victory filled the place. Everyone felt it, and as the trumpet player accompanied triumphantly, one could see in his expression a passion reminiscent of Mr. Walker’s.
After numerous testimonials regarding Mr. Walker’s character and his influence in people’s lives, the pastor wrapped up the service by asking if there was anyone who had postponed a relationship with Christ, for whatever reason, and invited these procrastinators to make a commitment then and there to the Lord that Mr. Walker had loved so. Several came forward and knelt at the front, and to everyone’s delight, these included the trumpet player. In an outpouring typical of the emotion of an artist, he laid his trumpet on the altar, signifying his commitment to dedicate his music to glorifying God.
Fron then on the instrument was seen every Sunday at the church, where the musician – Charles Walker’s last convert – played it faithfully every week in the worship. His name was Randy Simpson, and in time he became like another son to Beverly.
* * * * * * * * * *
The dream lasted only a moment, but it was one that Li would always remember. As the vision faded and the morning light awakened her fully, she lingered in bed, etching the picture into her memory. She smiled as a wave of peace swept over her.
“Thank You, Jesus,” she whispered.
* * * * * * * * * *
“I think I’ve seen Mr. Walker,” she told Sean over their customary cup of coffee in the church cafe.
“Really? You dreamt about him last night?”
“Well, actually this morning, right before I woke up. It was just for a few seconds, but I saw it so clearly. Two men were standing together. Their backs were to me, but I’m sure one of them was Mr. Walker. The other one was dressed very differently, like from another century, and he had lots of hair. It may have even been a wig …”
“I don’t think I ever knew what he looked like, but that was my first thought.”
“What were they doing?”
“They just had their arms around each other’s shoulders, as though they’d been best friends all their lives. They were talking. I couldn’t make out what they were saying, but they seemed to be speaking almost simultaneously, finishing each other’s sentences, that sort of thing – real kindred spirits. I heard them laugh. Then I woke up.”
Liz could tell by the look in Sean’s eyes that he had caught the vision.
“Sweet…” he sighed.
“Yeah, what a blessing. I can’t wait to tell Beverly about it.”
“Yeah, she’ll like that,” Sean agreed. There was a pause, during which Liz felt a certain lack of satisfaction, almost frustration.
“I just wish I could do more,” she said, her voice beginning to break. “Oh, Sean, I was just getting to know him, and now he’s gone!” A tear rolled down her cheek. Sean reached across the table and squeezed her hand.
“Y’know, Liz, the best thing you can do to pay tribute to Mr. Walker is to use your gift the way he encouraged you to do.”
“You mean write?”
“Yes! As he said, you’re a visionary …”
“- an eye in the Body of Christ?”
“If you wanna put it that way, yeah. I mean, think about it, Liz. You look at a special needs student and see the Wonderful Counselor. You look out the window of an airplane and see a mission field. You look at a contest and see battles raging everywhere. – You see angels on the subway!” he laughed. “And while the church is watching for God to heal an injured believer, you’re watching Him heal the Church. As Mr. Walker said, ‘write it down!'”
Liz smiled wistfully. “Sarah once told me that, too.”
“The I guess you’d better do it,” Sean announced with an air of finality.
“Sean, you know how scatterbrained I am.” Sean didn’t argue with her.
“And a procrastinator …”
“So, you remind me and nag me, OK?”
“I’ll nag like I’ve never nagged before.”
* * * * * * * * * *
So, from that day on, whenever Liz had a revelation, a dream, and adventure, or an answered prayer, as soon as she had finished telling Sean about it, he would rejoice with her, and then he would repeat the familiar admonition – “Now write it down!” And she would … usually.
Of course, things to write about far outnumbered the opportunities to write, and Liz soon realized what the apostle John meant when he wrote, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”
Liz imagined herself in her old age, when all the adventures had died down, writing and writing about what she had seen the Lord do in her lifetime; she hoped her memory would be good enough to do so. If it wasn’t, or if the adventures never died down (a definite possibility), she’d wait until she got to heaven and tell these stories for all eternity to anyone who wanted to hear.
* * * * * * * * * *
Fellow bloggers and other readers, for those of you who stuck it out and read this story to its conclusion, God bless you! I hope your Christmas is filled with the wonder of the Incarnation – that God Himself loved us enough to come to this messed-up world as one of us, and to give Himself to save us from our sin and death. Jesus is the best gift ever!