“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”Ecclesiastes 3:11
Geno got to see his brother today.
Geno got to see Dennis today. Kinda strange how Our Father gets us all together over time. Geno left out of this town without as much of a good bye on his birthday. And today , bout a month later, his brother Dennis did the same thing.
They both just “high tailed” it out of here without a word.They both went to a city whose designer and builder is God.
I don’t know why Dennis went chasing so fast after Geno. All I could think was that he got all frustrated . He got frustrated , like the rest of us, with saying “good bye”.
We’ve all been trying to say bye to Geno since he left last month. We have tried every day and even late into the night. Folks in his town even made a billboard at Chicken Delight saying “We miss you Geno”. I reckon that they put it there just in case Geno wanted to grab a wing before going or just in case Geno was looking back that might see his name all big on a billboard.
We all tried lots of other ways to say good bye to Geno. Some with flowers, some with paintings, some with food, some with photos, some with words, some with tears. But we all knew Geno was far away . And we all knew that …only our Love made perfect, in Jesus , could really reach and touch Geno. He was just that far away. He was just that close to Jesus.
Geno was a long way gone. Lots of songs are written bout folks leaving without good bye’s. Country and folk and blues all cry from the heart of the one left behind. But, when folks leave for good, when they are “a long way gone” it’s a whole different song.
When we have folks we love leave for good ,our sad hearts try to sing a song that just doesn’t fit in any category. It doesn’t even feel like a song. It feels like a cry from the dirt of the ground. It is off key and wordless. It is cold like silence with a groan.
It wasn’t ever like that with Geno. It was never cold silence. And though Geno wouldn’t talk much and often would just grunt , “ha ha”,” hee hee”, “humph”, “yes mam”, “uh huh,”;Geno never ever groaned.
Geno never groaned cause Geno always had a song. And ,cause he always had a song, when the preacher would call “Geno , I need you to play a song on Sunday”, Geno was ready.
Geno was ready since the day he turned face to face with Jesus. He called this place with Jesus “a place of joy”. He was always ready with new strings tightened and his guitar tuned to show off this place of joy”.
“ If God calls you to the altar to give everything to Him and you give it to Him , you are Free, free to do anything He asks. . and what he asks brings joy” was what Geno last said to me three days before he left town.
Geno was joyfully free. And He would pick a set of songs Our Father would give him to tell us all how free we can be. Geno was free to play many songs. And, If church were a bar , we could have requested any song and he would play it . He would play it ,not asking for a single coin for his case.
But , in the church, the pick was Geno’s . So with each set of songs for church, Geno would pick a song called “10000 reasons”. And instead of coins in his case, Geno had 10000 reasons of joy in his soul.
Bless the Lord Oh My Soul10000 reasons
10000 reasons is a song based on psalm 103 where King David remembers all the blessings of Our Fathers goodness. The son after Our Fathers heart, David, serenades Our Father with “all the benefits “ of being a child of God. And ,like a big boy child, Geno would stand with guitar strapped around his shoulder, dressed in a white shirt, radiant with a joy unspeakable and play his guitar before his Father. Soon, with a verse or two, we all felt the same joy. Singing “Bless the Lord oh my soul , oh my soul and worship His holy name”.
Then eyes of folks hearts opened as they saw the Bigness of God. And seeing made their souls fat with Praise.! For as large as the Father , as vast as His creation are the 10000 thankyous waiting to bless Him. Every soul heard the commanding BLESS The LORD oh my SOUl when their eyes saw His goodness!
Geno seemed to sing from a deep place where He saw the Goodness and Mercy of our Father. I don’t know if he was on key or off key but he was in tuned to Our Father. And even if we couldn’t name it everyone one of us knew … really knew that we too had a reason to sing.
“YOUR RICH IN LOVE AND YOURE SLOW TO ANGER
YOUR NAME IS GREAT AND YOUR HEART IS KIND
FOR ALL YOUR GOODNESS I WILL KEEP ON SINGING
10000 REASONS FOR MY HEART TO FIND” we joined Geno. All one voice. One voice full of joy . Those were the days before Geno and Dennis left without a goodbye.
Sing Like never Before
I play “10000 reasons”10000reasons real loud in my car on my way to church as I go through the town Geno left. As the car moves east, I remember Geno. I remember times when Geno would sing 10,000 reasons and I would want to start singing with him as soon as he began to strum . Aching to start singing, I would tighten my lips waiting for others to sing.
“why don’t ya go ahead and sing mam?” Geno would ask.
He was really asking me “why don’t ya live free”. And his wife ,Rita might have said it that way.
“Well , I cant sing very well. . . Im really off key” I told Geno.
“That’s okay God makes it all beautiful” Geno said with a warm chuckle. Geno always warmly chuckled after a sentence where he said “beautiful”
And I would say “Beautiful” back to Geno.
I would say it slowly “ Beautiful . . Geno tell me again about your older brother” I would request.
Geno would then tell me about his older brother “John John”. John John was a brother that did not “know “the way most folks “know,”or think the way most folks think or act as most folks act. So folks called John John special names .But he himself chose never to call anyone such a name. Instead he chose to call everyone “beautiful” .”John John “left town” a long time before Geno and Dennis left town. And , unlike his brothers , John John probably said “goodbye Beautiful” to everyone when he left. He was “beautiful” like that , Geno and Dennis would say.
I think John John waited a long time for today. He waited a long time to see his brothers. But to him , like Our Father, it was like barely waiting a day. I bet today he holds his two brothers hands feeling like not a day had been between them at all. It probably feels as if they never needed a goodbye.
But “John John” didn’t know a lot of what he missed down here with us. For example , he never heard Geno sing 10000 reasons. . It will be a whole new song for him in that ” city of God”. And even though Geno and Dennis sang this song , it will be a new song for them too !. It will be a song ,perfected in Love , and it will be in perfect key.
And , maybe just maybe, if we turn to Jesus ,and worship Him today , it may be the “good bye” none of us got to hear or say to Geno and Dennis before they went away. Just maybe , if we listen with the ears of our heart , we may hear echos from heaven as …
. . . . as they sing to us. . . .
“ON THAT DAY WHEN OUR STRENGTH WAS FAILING
THE END DREW NEAR AND OUR TIME HAD COME
No time was lost because …STILL OUR SOULS SING PRAISE UNENDING
1000 YEARS AND THEN FOREVER MORE!!!
And we might not think we need a “Good bye ” after all. ..
This post is for Mary , Rita and Carol ….dear sisters left behind with souls that also sing now and forever more. !
1. “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”Hebrews 11:10
2.“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:” 1Peter 1:8 KJV