Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I noticed a man leaning against the wall in the chapel.  We were in Uruguay for a training meeting in the afternoon.  That morning we were attending church with people we had never met, and after today, would never see again.  But, I will never forget the man standing by the wall.

Just as the meeting was to begin, a young girl went to the man, offered her arm, and led him up the ramp to the piano.  She sat down.  He did not.  The bishop stood and began the meeting.  I looked around and wondered, "Doesn't anyone see that man just standing by the piano?"  The opening song was announced.  I found the page and looked up at the chorister.  It was the man.  The young girl held the hymnbook while he used one hand to hold up the other arm to lead the singing.  He had a beautiful voice.  At the end of each verse he dropped both arms for a second's rest, only to lift them again.  Back and forth from the piano to the front to lead us in singing the opening hymn, Sacrament hymn, rest hymn, closing hymn.  Never ever sitting.  By the last song he was exhausted and I was in tears.  

We later learned that he could not sit because of a crippling back condition.

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind,
and with all thy strength:
this is the first commandment.  
Mark 12:30  

After church was over we watched him being slowly walked back home, and we knew that next Sunday, he would do it all again. 


Carrie said...

Wow. That is an amazing and inspiring story. Why haven't I heard that one before? Thank you for sharing.

jrpetho said...

Wow that is a touching story. It really makes me think about what I could do better in my callings!

Crystalin Dunn said...

Jeanie, I just played catch-up with your posts, and remembered why I don't like to just rush my way through your blog. I LOVED everything you've written. It's like reading Les Miserables for me: I see the divinity of humanity in your posts. And of couse love your photos :)