Story – The Promise of a Song

Ellie edged her chair closer to the grown ups who were visiting in the kitchen. Grandpa, Grandma, and Aunt Lily had stopped by for a visit, and although she didn’t always understand the conversation, she loved to listen. She found that she learned a lot of things that way.

The topic this evening was about something related to church and that got her mind to thinking about singing during Sabbath morning worship services. Although Ellie was only five years old, she very much loved to sing. She thought about the fact that her dear Grandpa was a song leader in their church and how much she liked when he led a song.

At Ellie’s church the song leaders all sat around a table near the center of the church. They took turns choosing a song and then leading it for the congregation. Ellie didn’t always know the songs that were chosen. They sang out of a little black hymnbook that had lots of songs with hard words and tunes she didn’t recognize. However, in the back of this little songbook was a section called, “The Appendix” and here were hymns that were familiar to her and she was always pleased when a song was announced from that part of the book. While she couldn’t read yet, her favorite song, number 8 in the hymnal, was “Saviour, Like a Shepherd Lead Us.” When that particular song was announced on a Sabbath morning, she always felt a twinge of excitement. She would be able to help along with this song!

I wish we would sing that song again, thought Ellie. It’s been a long time since we have.

Then a sudden thought struck her. Why couldn’t she ask Grandpa to choose that song next Sabbath?

Yes, I will ask him and see what he says about that idea, she smiled to herself. She decided to wait until her grandparents were ready to leave. She followed Grandpa out the door and as he walked across the porch, she quickly stepped up next to him. “Grandpa,” she asked, “Do you think you could lead the song ‘Saviour, Like a Shepherd Lead Us’ this next Sabbath? I would really like to sing it again!” She felt suddenly shy at having asked such a question, and she ducked back toward the doorway of the house.

Grandpa smiled down at her. “I think I can do that. Is that a song you like?” His eyes twinkled at Ellie. “I’ll be happy to lead that one just for you.”

Ellie could scarcely wait for church the following Sabbath. She would get to sing her song. Grandpa said he would choose it and she had no doubt he would do as he said.

Sabbath morning, she waited eagerly for the song service to begin. The first and second songs were ones that were not familiar to her. Then came time for the third one. “Let’s sing hymn number 8,” announced the song leader. Ellie’s heart sang. They were going to sing her favorite song. Her Grandpa had honored her request. Her eyes shone as she joined in the singing of the beautiful song. It was a lovely hymn that spoke of Jesus’ care as a Shepherd and a Friend, and how He would always keep His children close to Himself.

Later, after church was over and they were on their way home, Ellie remarked to her mother, “Grandpa chose that one song, just like I asked him to!”

Ellie’s mom looked a bit startled. “You asked him to lead a song today? When did you ask him?”

“Yes, I did. The other evening when they visited, I asked him if he could lead it today and he said he would. And he did!” Ellie said with delight.

Mom had a strange look on her face, and she was quiet for a moment.

“Did you know that Grandpa and Grandma weren’t there today? At the last minute they decided to visit elsewhere this morning for church.” Mom smiled tenderly at her little daughter. “It seems that God knew what a little girl’s heart was desiring and He led another brother to choose the song you like so much. That’s so amazing, isn’t it?” Ellie nodded. To think that Grandpa wasn’t even at church today, and still they sang her favorite song anyway! It gave her such a special feeling to know that Jesus cared for her that much.

Today, Ellie is a grown-up woman and has children of her own. Whenever she thinks about how Jesus cares for all His children, she especially remembers how God cared about one little five-year-old girl and the song she loved so much. As her mother said, and still does, “Of course God cares. He loves all the little children of the world.”

Saviour, like a Shepherd lead us,

Much we need Thy tender care.

In Thy pleasant pastures feed us,

For our use Thy folds prepare:

Blessed Jesus! blessed Jesus!

Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

Blessed Jesus! blessed Jesus!

Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

The Heartbeat of the Remnant, Vol. 27, Issue 2, Summer 2022, Eileen H. Wenger, 18, 19