What if I didn’t bring my guitar that day?

“What if I didn’t bring my guitar on that day?” It’s ‘outside the box’ to bring a guitar in the hospital, but God had me bring it often, with a few particular songs to sing, every time I visited Jenny -whether at home or in the hospital. We all understand when professional musicians carry their instruments to ‘scheduled’ performances, and oh how we enjoy those moments when we are brought together for those monumental performances-yet, God,

the Great Conductor orchestrates ‘monumental moments’ when we yield to His leading. I must record this moment in that God wants me to remember the very last song we sang…

First, the ‘we’- Jenny and myself and my friend Gail and a man from Jenny’s church. Second, ‘the moment – Jenny, the friend God gave me to help lift my ‘pity-ful’ thoughts out of the ash heap to soar in a sky of blue. Yes, the friend who suffered so many great losses, even the loss and ability to feel or move any muscle below her neck for close to 6 years. Yes – Jenny was paralyzed within a 24 hour period from some unknown ‘virus’ at the age of 35, completely from the neck down!

(Take a moment and imagine losing the feeling and ability to move anything below your neck for even one day, let alone almost 6 years!) Anyway, back to the moment- God knew – but we didn’t- that this moment in time was to be our last day to talk and sing. This moment after being in the hospital almost 3months, separated from her home and her loved ones so much of the time, this young 40 year old woman beamed with joy when I pulled out my ‘baby Taylor’ to play the hymn, “My Jesus, I Love Thee.”

This was no performance to be remembered for perfection, but this was a moment of precious and purest of praises. None of us knew this would be the last song. But God did. And unless I write this down today and record this moment, it might be forgotten, but God wants me to remember…

He wants me to remember so I can be reminded forever that He is in control. He is the Great Conductor. God knew that about 15 hours later, Jenny would suffer lack of oxygen and go into a coma for a short time, before going on home to Him. God’s the only One who knew, but we can know the song…we can know the song that she had on her mind, because we sang it together on that day, and God was with us because He inhabits pure praise:

“My Jesus I love Thee; I know Thou art mine. for Thee all the follies of sin I resign. My gracious Redeemer, My Savior art Thou. If ever I loved Thee, My Jesus, ’tis now. (William R. Featherston)

To think that the ‘Great Conductor’ had Jenny and I reading together the last few visits in the Song of Songs, the Song of Solomon where we both discovered just how great His love is for us. We sang the words, “I know Thou art mine” in a most deep and rich way. Like two school girls that had been ‘kissed’ by Jesus:
“Behold, you are fair, my love! Behold you are fair! You have dove’s eyes…” (Song of Sol. 1:15). ”
We had read also, “The voice of my beloved! Behold He comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills…behold He stands behind our wall; He is looking through the windows, Gazing through the lattice. My beloved spoke to me: “Rise up, my love,my fair one, And come away. For lo,

the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. the flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come…” (Song of Sol 2:8-10).

We sang on that monumental day: “I love Thee, Because Thou hast first loved me, And purchased my pardon On Calvary’s tree. I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow, If ever I loved Thee, My Jesus, tis now.”

Jenny and I, through our time together were touched by the Lord. He knows about our thorns. He told us so, “Like a lily among thorns, So is my love among the daughters.” (Song of Sol 2:1). So we sang with such depth of meaning the words, “I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow,...” and we meant every word as we sang, “If ever I loved Thee, My Jesus,tis now.”

These were not just words, they were spirit and we were worshiping our Lord in Spirit and in Truth and He was with us on that monumental day. He inhabited that amazing praise!

As time goes by, I don’t want to forget, so write I will, and when I sing this hymn, I always remember this day. The next two verses are so amazing, in that of all the hymns, this is the one that God chose for me to bring. God is in control, if you aren’t sure, read these words aloud as well, as we sang aloud that precious day:

“I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death. And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath; And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow, “If ever I loved Thee, My Jesus ’tis now.” Only God knew that the last breaths were approaching.

But this brings me the greatest of comfort, that God chose this song, because I will always wonder, “Lord, was Jenny hearing this song in her coma? So much mystery that only You know, Lord.”

But here are the words of the last verse we sang, so amazing, beyond glorious -truly God’s on the Throne: “In mansions of glory And endless delight, I’ll ever adore Thee In heaven so bright. I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow, “If ever I loved Thee, My Jesus, ’tis now.”

I’m thankful that God had me bring my guitar that day, I’m thankful for the song He chose. TO think that He was willing to wear that crown of thorns so we could wear a ‘glittering crown on our brows’! And when we get there, we will lay those crowns down at the feet of Him who loves us so.

So, if God has you go ‘outside the box’ and grab that hymn book, psalm, or even to grab that guitar ,to bring to someone whose been broken,  you might just witness, as I did that day, a monumental moment that you will  record in the journal of your heart, that God supernaturally heals you all, with His presence – you all have joy, no matter what happened or is going to transpire, God has a plan, and it’s something we can hold on to!

Lord, I miss Jenny so much. But I thank You that she is whole and alive forevermore. Soon and very soon we will be together again. Thank You for her life. Thank You for Yours! “If ever I loved Thee, My Jesus, ’tis now.”


Author: tonirypkema

Wife to 1, mother of 11, daughter of 1. "The most amazing woman in the world." -Jared (son)

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