May I Tell You a Story?




















Mom and I sat on the rest home porch
As May’s sun gave a golden glow.
Rocking side by side in wooden chairs,
Like we had done so long ago.

My mind slipped back to childhood days,
When we would sit and rock for hours;
I thought of Mom’s little garden and smiled
When I recalled how she talked to her flowers:

“Mr. Tulip, have a drink of this water;
Save a little for Iris and Lily too.
Okay, Daisy Dear, you’ve had enough.
Violet, you’re next, when Zinnia is through."

But these present days were so different,
For Mom's mind would ebb and flow.
Her health was poor this eighty-fifth year;
To heaven she wanted to go.

Mom turned and saw me smiling.
She spoke with a voice weak and low,
"Would you like me to tell you a story?
I learned it a long time ago."

"A story?" I mused. Curiosity grew,
For I thought I had heard them all.
“Why, sure, Mom. I'd love to hear it.”
In the distance came a lone dove’s call.

She looked at me, then glanced heavenward.
I grew quiet as the gentle breeze.
Mom began in her sweet angelic way;
Her every word I wanted to seize.

She began to sing a melodious tune –
A hymn, I assumed it to be.
Then, in a broken but tender voice,
She sang these words to me:

"‘I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.
I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.’"

Mom loves her Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ 
And is quick to let everyone know.
Her faith in Him's undeniable;
When He calls, she'll be ready to go.

Later, I did some research:
Found the words to that old hymn,
And it became clear as I read them,
That Mom’s story was all about Him.

Mom’s story is now my favorite,
And often the words I rehearse;
But two lines fit her perfectly –
Those in the very last verse…

‘And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
’Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.’

Soon Mom will be with her Lord, 
Where she’ll sing and glorify His name.
As for me, after hearing her story,
Well, my life will not be the same.

Today I have two stories:
Mom's, and the one she's loved so long.
I smile as I think of her in heaven
And how she’ll be singing her song:

"'I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.’"

Yes, Mom loves to tell the story; 
’Twill be her theme in glory,
Where she'll tell the old, old story 
Of Jesus and His love.

​*****


© Copyright Loyd C Taylor, Sr. 2015
Some words taken from the hymn, “I Love to Tell the Story,” 
by A. Ka¬ther¬ine Hank¬ey, 1866


Helpful definitions:
“Ebb and flow”: a recurrent or rhythmical pattern of coming and going or decline and re-growth.
"Mr. Tulip," "Daisy Dear," "Iris," "Lily," Violet," and "Zinnia": names of flowers, spoken in a way by Mom to humanize her flowers.
“When He calls”: when death comes.
“She’ll be ready”: She has made her peace with God and has the assurance of salvation through her personal relationship with Him, through faith in His work on Calvary.
“Scenes of Glory”: Heaven and all the glories that it holds for those who believe.


The story behind my poem.

My wife and I heard that Lydia had been taken to the hospital, so we stopped by to visit her the next morning. We were happy to find her awake and alert, and we were equally pleased that her daughter Ann was there as well. While inquiring as to Lydia's condition, I was blessed with a little story Ann shared with me. It went something like this:

One day when Ann stopped by for a brief visit with her mother, they walked out and sat in the shade of the porch roof as they watched and listened to the birds chirping. Once in a while a butterfly would appear, adding beauty to the surroundings, and Ann found herself thinking back to their home in Connecticut and the porch of the two-story house where she had grown up and where her parents would sit every evening, sharing the day’s events. It was apparent to Ann that they were very much in love. Her mother also loved flowers, so it was not unusual to hear her say something like, “That poor little thing is dying; guess it’s been here long enough."

On this particular day, Ann's mother said, "Come a little closer. I want to tell you a story."

Her mother was eighty-five years old and in declining physical and mental health. Her memory would come and go, so some days she would be alert and others a bit lethargic. This was one of those good days, and it seemed that, for just a little while, Ann had her mom back. So, when her curiosity got the best of her, she said, "'A story? Sure. I'd love to hear a story." 
She leaned over as her mother turned toward her with eyes tearing a bit and a slight smile on her face. Her voice was shaky and weak as she began…

'I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.
I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.'

Ann found comfort in knowing that her mother loved Jesus—the One who made her assurance of eternal life possible—and that she was ready to go to her rest. And there was certainly no doubt that her mother loved to tell the story of Jesus and his love!  

NEW INFORAMTION, updated July 21, 2015
Lydia is the lady mentioned in the poem, her daughter is Ann. She was 85 at the time this was written. On July 14, 2015, Lydia passed peacefully away, now she is in a better place. I was privileged to read this poem at her funeral, as well as joining the congregation in singing, "I Love to Tell the Story." It was quite a celebration!


The following information was taken from the following web site…
cyberhymnal.org/htm/i/l/ilttts.htm

I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY
I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.
Refrain
I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems
Than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams.
I love to tell the story, it did so much for me;
And that is just the reason I tell it now to thee.
Refrain
I love to tell the story; ’tis pleasant to repeat
What seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story, for some have never heard
The message of salvation from God’s own holy Word.
Refrain
I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
’Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.
Refrain

William G. Fischer (1835-1912)
Words: A. Katherine Hankey, 1866.
Music: William G. Fischer, Joyful Songs, Nos. 1 to 3 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Methodist Episcopal Book Room, 1869) (MIDI, score).
This is from a long poem on the life of Jesus that was written in 1866. It is in two parts. The first part is a poem of fifty stanzas, and is titled, “The Story Wanted,” being dated January 29, 1866. The second part is titled “The Story Told,” and is dated November 18, 1866. It is said that the author had a serious spell of sickness just before this poem was composed, and that she occupied the long days of convalescence in writing the poem. 
Certain verses were taken from Part I. by Dr. W. H. Doane in 1867 to make the popular and familiar hymn beginning, “Tell me the old, old story,” for which he composed the familiar tune to which those words are commonly sung. 
From Part II. Certain verses have been selected to make the above hymn, “I Love to Tell the Story,” the tune to which was composed by W. G. Fischer. This is one of the most popular of all modern hymns, and has been translated into several different languages. These and other hymns by the author have been published from time to time in different forms, sometimes accompanied by tunes composed by herself. 
Many of her hymns are found in a little volume which she published in 1870, titled Heart to Heart. Very few hymns writ¬ten in the last fifty years have so taken hold of the hearts of the people, both the young and the old, as has this simple little song.

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