Psalms 23:5 “Thou preparest a table for me before the presence of mine enemies, thou annointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over.”
Jeremiah sat at the corner of Third and Elm Streets every day for twenty years, weather permitting, with his tin cup in hand, singing Gospel and Blues for the townspeople. His faithful dog Moses, lay at his feet. He was beloved by all, and his rich, beautiful singing voice drew people from blocks around who would stop in their tracks to listen, and then drop a few coins into his cup.
Jeremiah had been blind since birth. He was raised by his mother in a little shack on the other side of the railroad tracks until she died twenty years ago and Jeremiah was left alone to fend for himself. His mother had worked for a nice rich lady who had bought Jeremiah his first seeing eye dog.
After his mother died, Jeremiah continued to live in the little shack owned by his mother, but he had no way to feed himself. Without a formal education, his only trade, so to speak, was his rich singing voice and his knowledge of the songs he had learned at the Ebenezer Baptist Church he attended all his life. His mother had seen to it Jeremiah’s most important education was that of the Lord.
One day Jeremiah had come into town with his dog to buy some food with the very last of the money he had left. Suddenly, he started crying and just sat down on the corner to pray, and as his prayers turned into song, people on the street would stop and listen to his beautiful voice and give him a few coins.
A man named Mr. Isaac happened to pass by. He was the owner of a jewelry store on Elm Street and the richest person in town. He heard Jeremiah singing and stopped to talk to him. Mr. Isaac learned of Jeremiah’s plight and told him he had a gift, and should just come to that corner everyday and sing for the townspeople and they would take care of his needs, and so he did.
After a while, the people had grown to love to hear Jeremiah sing so much that sometimes in the evening crowds would gather around and sing with him and then pray. It came to be like a church service on the corner. People would then talk to Jeremiah about their problems in life and he would counsel them in the ways of Jesus.
More than a few souls were saved on the corner of Third and Elm.
When his first seeing eye dog died, the townspeople all chipped in and bought him Moses. Moses was a fine German Shepherd and he loved his master with all his heart, and stayed by his side day and night.
He was also offered a house to live in, but he kindly refused, and when his tin cup became full, he would politely refuse further coins.
“My cup runneth over,” he would say.
Then one fine, beautiful spring day Jeremiah wasn’t at his usual place on the corner. All his friends in town became concerned because he would never miss a day like this. Then when Moses showed up alone and whining, they immediately knew something was wrong. Mr. Isaac went across the tracks to Jeremiah’s home and found his friend’s lifeless body on the floor. A heart attack, Doc Jenkins said.
Jeremiah was given a funeral fit for a king. People came in droves. His casket was gilded in gold, and there was a sea of flowers around it. People cried. Songs were sung, but missing was the velvety voice of the angel known as Jeremiah.
“Jeremiah was a poor man, with no earthly possessions other than an old shack and a dog named Moses, but he was by far richer than I, and now he is in heaven wearing a crown of jewels the likes of which I have never seen. “ spoke Mr. Isaac at the funeral.
“His cup runneth over,” he said.
Mr. Isaac is retired now, but he can be seen at the corner of Third and Elm streets with his trusted dog Moses, with no cup in hand and without the voice of Jeremiah, but singing and praying with the townspeople.
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