The testimony of God's goodness continues...please read the previous post for the beginning of this awesome Christmas Eve.
I'd like to share the significance of Thomas' song, Momma Liked the Roses by Elvis Presley. Coming up to the Eve, I kept thinking why would he pick this song above all else? It made no sense to me. But, what a surprise awaited me.
After listening and signing along, Thomas shared with me that his Grandma loved roses and she had many rose bushes. When she passed away when he was young, his uncle (the Grandma's son) and he, together, would sing this song every Christmas Eve in remembrance of Grandma.
This year, Thomas sent his uncle a Christmas card and the uncle reciprocated with a note inside the card saying that he would still be singing the song and that he would be thinking of Thomas as he did so. Thomas now gets to tell the uncle how he, too, got to sing the song on Christmas Eve, as if they were together once again remembering Grandma. Together. Yet so far apart. Tears of joy gently flowed!
Thomas' gratitude to me was overwhelming. When I shared God's Word with him and the Scripture, he was quiet. When I finished speaking he was praising and thanking God.
RD told me that these two men could speak of nothing else all Christmas Eve night and Christmas Day. They were telling everyone how this stranger invited them to share Christmas Eve with them and the special "gift" I had given each of them.
Here is the kicker: The phones were turned off immediately after I hung up with Thomas. I never even got to speak with RD again until midday on Christmas Day when the prison turned them back on. That's when I got to play him his favorite carol. Had they not called me before their church service, that opportunity to share God's Word and Agape Love with them would have passed them by.
Here is the second kicker: I cannot understand accents. Not a Spanish accent, an American Southern accent, or even a British or Aussie accent. I use CC on my TV all the time when someone has an accent. While I was sharing with these individual men, RD was in his cell praying. Suddenly, he realized he forgot to prepare me in advance that both men had accents - one Spanish, the other a hard-core Southern drawl. He started to panic thinking I won't be able to understand them. Just then, RD looked up and on the TV was a scene from a Jesus movie. It was the Upper Room Holy Spirit experience. His heart was assured that this would be my experience - that I, too, would be able to understand their utterances. And I did. Every word.
All I could do was worship God Who Loved these men so much as to orchestrate this whole scenario and get His Word and Love through to them.
For whatever time RD has left to serve, I do hope this will be my new Christmas tradition. And I hope and pray next year there will be more than two men!
Because of Him and Unto Him,