The Hum of Praise
When my brother David was four months old, he suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage. He underwent six brain operations that tried, unsuccessfully, to repair the damage. He was written up, in the medical journals of the day, as the youngest person to ever survive that many brain operations.
My parents took him home to love and care for him, as long as the Good Lord allowed. They are still taking care of David, who will be fifty-four years old in December. He is, in fact, a perpetual infant.
He has never crawled.
He has never taken a step.
He has never spoken a word.
God blessed David with an astounding capacity for music. He cannot sing a word, but he can sure hum. His favorite music . . . the old hymns he grew up hearing, in church every Sunday, until he got too big for Mom and Dad to carry.
He is bedridden now. Every Sunday, the television is tuned to local church services. All day long, David hums every hymn he has ever heard. His pitch is perfect, and he has an amazing repertoire.
His all-time favorite is “The Hallelujah Chorus.” He will hum this song for hours at a time . . . often at the top of his lungs. When he was a teenager, and his “voice” began to change, he could drop an octave in mid-hum and never miss a note.
Whenever I get the chance to go back home for a visit, the first thing I do is have a “praise session” with my brother. I stand beside his bed and I sing every hymn that I can think of. He starts to smile and then he hums right along with me on every one.
I sometimes think that his “joyful noise” has to be the purest form of praise, and I often wonder if the angels in Heaven ever stop what they are doing, just to listen to David hum.
I do not know how much longer we will be blessed to have David with us. What I do know is that, one day, he will no longer have to hum the hymns of praise that he loves so much. One glorious day, he will trade his imperfect body for a heavenly one, and he will be able to sing those hymns, in praise to the God who so lovingly created him.
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