Posted by Marjorie Ainsborough Decker text© 2011 on May 7th, 2012
Dear Friends of the Fellowship of the Blog,
Happy Mother’s Day to all our dear Moms! You are the key to our children’s futures! Thank you for all you do!
Today’s particular choice of Christian Mother Goose rhymes is because of a Harley Davidson motorcycle that roared up alongside of our car at a stop light last evening.
The sturdy young man, clothed in leather, looked full of purpose; as if on some gallant mission. While the rest of the traffic fidgeted, he remained resolutely focused straight ahead on his goal. He may have been a local cowboy accustomed to the dust and grime of an Oklahoma cattle ranch, but in contrast, his chrome-plated Harley absolutely glistened with the immaculate authority of a true “Knight of the road.”
Then, first out of the shoot as the light turned green, the leather-clad Knight showed his loyalty to his country: a Purple Heart stood out on his license plate and, along with his black marine boots, spoke of exploits for the cause of freedom. As the Harley roared off into the misty, moisty evening, I immediately thought of the old rhyme, “One Misty, Moisty Morning,” and that this 1680 A.D. rhyme should be the centerpiece for the “Fellowship of the Blog” today.
A misty, moisty morning comes often in England, especially in the North West where I grew up. Weather vanes were interesting, but for children, it was more fun to check old Mrs. Reilly’s man and woman weather house. It was a cuckoo clock, with a cheery woman coming out indicating good weather, and a forlorn man coming out for just the opposite. Especially in summer, it was the neighborhood children’s ritual to knock politely on Mrs. Reilly’s open door and ask, “Please, Mrs. Reilly, is the woman out today?” She would let us peek in to see for ourselves what answer the magical weather clock would give. At least we thought it must be magical, until we learned about barometers!
Here in America, all four of our boys knew of the rainy day rhymes of my childhood in Liverpool. However, as Colorado was so consistently sunny, the word “umbrella” just hibernated in their vocabulary. Suddenly, that word was important, except that it was slightly enlarged to “gumbrella” by four-year-old Keith when he learned half of the family was going to England: Kevin, Keith and a little-bit-homesick Mom. He insisted on taking his very own gumbrella and couldn’t wait to walk in the Liverpool rain.
Upon our arrival, a strange, but marvelous thing happened. The rain disappeared! (Mrs. Reilly’s weather woman must have been locked outside the clock!) For nearly three weeks, Keith’s gumbrella remained crisp and dry. And not willing to miss the chance to get it wet, he kept it opened up everywhere we went – even on the top deck of the double-decker bus, where it quickly cleared the way for his choice of seat right at the front. Then, to his dismay, our last day dawned with still no rain in sight. But, filled with hope right up to the last minute, Keith stood out in his Grandmother’s garden with his gumbrella opened up to the sky. My mischievous brother, Jimmy, crept up behind him with a bucket of water, and down came the rain drops on a happy boy’s little gumbrella. Ah…sweet satisfaction… a gumbrella baptism! Now, we could all go back home to Colorado.
Later, I heard that a misty, moisty morning returned the very next day – even as the “Fellowship of the Blog” now returns to our rhyme. I am intrigued why an “old man clothed all in leather” would venture out on such a slippery day. Yet, with no Harley to speed him on his way; with age against him; regardless of the weather, this 1680 A.D. Knight of the road sets out with just a small child to encourage him on his way. (What a beautiful picture of the loving bridge between the old and the young!) But what mission of purpose, passion and courage had thrust him out in the rain?
Considering this rhyme is from the 17th century, when the King James Version of the Bible was published in English in 1611, I like to think our leather-clad, 1680 Knight had rejoiced to learn the words of Jesus in John 8:32 – “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The Holy Scriptures were at last in the language of the common Englishman – the dream of the martyred translator William Tyndale. Even an old man in the leather clothing of the laboring class could understand and know that, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36) Freed unto the freedom of love, joy, peace, kindness, courage and purpose; all found in the Gift of eternal life through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Was this the truth that thrust our elderly hero out in the rain, on a mission for the Gospel of Christ? Was it a similar mission to that of a modern day “Misty, Moisty, Morning” elderly woman of 85? Her name was Elizabeth Thompson, and I met her in New York’s Kennedy Airport some years ago. She was a tiny lady, alone, with obvious poor vision as she tried to find her way through the British Airways section. I went up to her and said, “Hello, may I help you find your way?” “Oh, thank you, thank you, love,” she replied in her Birmingham accent. “Oh, you’re going back to England, too,” I said smiling. And, looking at her ticket, I saw we were on the same flight. So, with over two hours to wait, we linked arms and went for tea to chat like old friends.
I found that Elizabeth was a widow and almost blind, which caused me to ask why she was traveling alone to England. “I’m not alone, love, the Lord is with me. And He has even sent you to keep me company all the way back home.”
Then she told me the reason for her courage in setting out without assistance.
“My brother and sister are lovely people in their 90′s, but they’re not saved. I told the Lord if no one else will tell them about Jesus, I’ll go myself to tell them before it’s too late.”
Then, throughout our journey, in what I called “Elizabeth’s Particular Pilgrim’s Progress,” she told me about the many roads she had traveled without ever leaving home. All the roads of a gentle prayer Warrior – the battles, the triumphs, the joy of restored families and little children’s dreams; and the road to Calvary. “That’s the road I want to walk with my brother and sister – all the way to the Cross,” she exclaimed.
I was amazed. “Elizabeth, you are a walking testimony of Psalm 71:18,” I told her: “Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.”
What an example she is to the more able-bodied amongst us!
God grant us an army of such road Warriors and Knights.
Until next time, thank you for your kind visit today.
With warmest regards and blessings.
Christian Mother Goose®
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