A Blessed Life (3)

After five years of being an only child, things changed. My sister, Mary Edna, was born July 4, 1951. With a five year age difference, and her being a girl, I continued to be a loner. I look back with regret that I was not a better big brother. In later years, we became much closer, and grew in our love for one another. Our growing and bonding together helped me understand that we should always work to deepen our relationship with those we love.
One of the things I remember about my little sister was her willingness to play church with me. As you might guess, I was the preacher. She and two or three of her dolls constituted the congregation. Somewhere along the line in one of our services something went awry. I can’t recall the details, but something prompted Mary Edna to hit me on the head with one of her plastic dolls. Perhaps the sermon was a little too long and she saw that to be the best way to end the service. She didn’t even have the patience to wait for the benediction.
Church was not only a place of worship, but it was also the core of our social life. Living in the country, only a few miles from the Salem Church, we found most of our activities centered around the folks who comprised that congregation. There were about a hundred folks who gathered every Sunday at 10 a.m. for Sunday School, with worship following at 11. In worship we sang the great hymns of the faith without any instrumental accompaniment. Our song leader, Brother Frank, sat on the front pew. Without warning he would pop up like a jack-in-the-box and call out in a voice loud enough to wake Lazarus, “Turn to page number 304 and sing the first, second and last verse.” We sang from a hymnal entitled Great Songs of the Church. Hymn number 304 was “Count Your Blessings.” As the years go by, I realize that I have had more blessings from God than I could ever count.

— Terry Morrison