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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Telephone (07/17/08)

TITLE: Always on the Line
By Judy Doyle
07/23/08


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Central’s never “busy,” always on the line;
You may hear from Heaven almost any time;
’Tis a royal service, free for one and all;
When you get in trouble, give this royal line a call.

In 1919 Frederick Lehman penned the words and music to this old time hymn. Years have past since the telephone company was known as “Central.” However, we have become dependent upon our telephones, haven’t we. Want a pizza? We don’t even need to go out for it. Just pick up the telephone and place the order and ask for delivery. I was amazed to discovered in the 1960s, a woman having her pacemaker checked by telephone. The telephone has become our life-line. When we have an emergency, we need only to call 9-1-1 and help is on the help.

However, the message of the old hymn hasn’t anything to do with the accessibility of the telephone and the conveniences it offers. It has everything to do with the accessibility of our God. When our infant daughter was in the hospital, I often woke during night concerned for her. I could call the hospital to ask how she was doing. There were times when the phone rang and rang and rang. Those were nerve-racking times. There were many days and nights when I made use of that “line” that was never busy. I knew in my heart that sometime the phone would ring at home and it would be the hospital telling me Kim had died.

As much as I appreciate the convenience of the land-line telephones and the cell telephones, I am deeply grateful to the telephone that’s never busy. Lehman was correct when he penned the words, “You may hear from heaven almost any time.” The prophet Samuel heard from God in the wee hours of the morning. Moses had a “red telephone” called the burning bush. Jeremiah must have been playing his “toy” phone because he claimed he was only a child when God called him. I’ve heard from God in the middle of anthem at church.

Frederick Lehman understood the telephone service was not free. But he reminded others of the free service offered by God to all humans known as prayer. The only thing I might possibly disagree with Lehman on is his statement, “When you get in trouble, give this royal line a call.” Oh, without a doubt, I experience troubles, but I love to “pick up the telephone” and call “Central” just to chat. It is so gratifying to know I can pray anytime, anywhere about anything. I’m so blest to know “Central’s never busy.” Are you?


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Sara Harricharan 07/24/08
Indeed we are blessed to know that 'central's' never busy. What a great reminder, thanks for sharing this lovely piece! I liked the touch of history inside. ^_^
Joy Faire Stewart07/25/08
I love this old hymn, and a wonderful weaving into present day. This is a great devotional.