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Apparently, I ROCK! And I have it on the best authority!

My new best friend, Nancy Hatch, (Nothing wrong in groveling a bit, is there, Nancy?) honored me earlier this month by passing one of her own numerous awards on to me and several others in her own blogosphere.  It is called the “You Rock!”  award, and I will admit to feeling enormously proud and pleased to have been included by a writer whom I respect into a circle of such extraordinary bloggers!  So, with all my heart, thank you, Nancy!  What a boost for the ol’ ego!
But, as my new best friend will tell you, almost every time she posts something (and she is an incredibly prolific blogger) it reminds me of a story, which I then feel obliged to include in my often lengthy comments at her site. Her “award post” was no exception, so here goes my comment (the only difference here is that I’m taking up space in my blog instead of hers, thus condensing my posts to one instead of having to come up with two!):

Years and years ago, when our eldest son was an infant, Ashley and I served a church in upstate New York, a lovely little village known as Middleburgh.  It was during those all-too-short 27 months that we had managed to start a wonderful summer program with the youth in the community – from all the different churches in town.  We produced a musical both summers we were there, and always had a blast.  We also taught the kids a lot of other music, and we did as much singing as possible.  Ashley and I had become familiar with the contemporary Christian music of a pair of Presbyterians – one a pastor, the other a church music director – (Richard) Avery & (Donald) Marsh.  Their music was easily taught, melodic, and the lyrics expressed a sound theology.  Ashley and I attended a seminar during those months in which Avery & Marsh were the featured clinicians.  We brought home all sorts of their music, and not just for the youth!

There were two particular Avery & Marsh Christmas songs that were (and still are) a perfect match for my fairly limited vocal abilities. One was a lovely melody coupled with equally lovely and descriptive lyrics written about Mary’s labor and the moments leading up to Jesus’ birth.  It is called “Mary, Too.”  The first line starts with “The sky was very heavy; Mary, too.”  I still will sing that on occasion, but the other song that I try to sing each year around the Epiphany season is called “Baby Sitter.”  Here are the lyrics:

(by Richard Avery & Donald Marsh)

I’ll rock you gentle, I’ll rock you slow;
Rock you gentle to and fro.
You’re awful handsome, you’re awful bright –
Whatever comes your way will turn out all right.

Verse 1:
Your mother’s gone out shopping, for food that’s fresh and good.
Your father’s at his workbench, building things of wood.
Later they will stop at the synagogue to pray –
That’s where we go to worship God, and you’ll be there some day.

Verse 2:
Your mother entertained once what she described as kings.
Remember those three people with crowns and fancy rings?
They spoke a foreign language, but what they meant came through.
Now, don’t you get conceited, but they came to look at you!

Verse 3:
You’re going to be important, I feel it in my bones,
A man who will be noticed, perhaps you’ll have a throne.
You’re going to help the people, the hungry and depressed –
It’s going to take a lot of work, so now you need to rest.

Verse 4:
If ever you’re in trouble, remember what I say –
Just call your baby sittter, and I’ll come right away!
We’ll laugh and cry together, and make your troubles go
And then someday, when I need you, I’ll come to you and know. . .

You’ll rock me gentle, you’ll rock me slow
Rock me gentle to and fro.
You’re awful handsome, you’re awful bright
Whatever comes your way will turn out all right.
So close your eyes, dear Jesus –
Sleep well, good night!

So now I rock my own sweet granddaughter – whenever I can (and in spirit, always!).  Zoë will be important – I have no doubt!  She already is; having changed the world from the moment of her birth.  This is true at the birth of each new life on earth – the world can never be the same, because everyone is unique, precious, and irreplaceable.  We each leave our own unmistakable footprint.  So watch out world – Zoë’s here!

And, thank you, Nancy for telling me I Rock!  It might not be in the same sense that you intended, but to me now, rocking has taken on a whole new meaning.  And you are right –


Rocking gently, to and fro. . .

Gentle Readers, may you all be rocked gently, and enough. . .