Southern Man

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Broken Pieces

I found last night that the hotel in which we're staying has a couple of courtesy PCs, which allowed both a fix for my increasing addiction to broadband and a blog update from the Lone Star State.

We left in the early morning and drove all day on Friday. And I mean all day - my father likes to take the road less traveled when he makes the trip to his home town. Fortunately at the end of said road was a Fairfield Marriott with nice comfortable beds and a fine breakfast buffet and a lovely indoor pool with hot tub. My daughters and I would end up spending a lot of time in that pool!

The first formal event of the weekend (you may recall that this is a family gathering to celebrate the 90th birthday of my great aunt) was dinner at the local El Chico. I suppose about forty were there and I got to renew acquaintances with any number of cousins and other relations both distant and near, many of whom I hadn't seen in a decade or longer. Several were divorce survivors and we had some nice heart-to-heart talks. When I visit with my great-aunts I always end up thinking about their oldest sister (the grandmother who died when I was about two years old) and knowing that she was surely as beautiful and sweet as they. I also found that a couple of my cousins blog so I've added them to my Friends and Family list and I'll probably hassle them until they put a link to Southern Man on theirs.

Neighbors was my grand-aunt's married name, and her wonderful husband was closer to my family than many blood relatives. In the photo: behind the couch from left to right are Neighbors Man and Neighbors Grrl; on the couch are their dad (my first car, a '64 Mercury Comet, was a hand-me-down from him), their grandmother (my grand-aunt), and their mom. I don't know who actualy took the photo; if I find out I will post the appropriate credit.

Saturday we had a fine lunch at my grand-aunts home, which is on a strip of land on which my grandfather and my great-grandmother (his mother-in-law) also had their homes when I was a child. One of my uncles and I had a grand time retracing the foundations of their old homes and searching out the magical places of our respective childhoods. Alas, many of the trees we climbed and places where we got into trouble are long gone. The streets in that neighborhood are all named after kinfolk on my father's side - Merrill and Jasper and Wheeler. The main event was an afternoon reception at a local bed-and-breakfast. It was very well attended; I quit counting at seventy-five or so. We also got in a bit of sight-seeing, including the lovely old Scottsville cemetery (for many fine photos of the cemetery and some interesting commentary see this post by Goldie) and the claypits where my father and his brothers and friends would swim as children. And over our stay I swam for hours and hours and hours with my daughters in that fine hotel pool.

Most of the clan drifted off that evening or the next morning, but we had already planned to stay through until Monday so this morning we headed for Marshall Church of the Nazarene for services. I was born and raised Nazarene and still attend a Nazarene church. The Marshall church has a small and aging congregation - not more than two dozen were in attendance and I was probably the youngest adult there. But what prompted this post was the special sung just before the sermon. It was an old Ruby Kitchen camp-meeting song and the words went straight to my heart:
Have you failed in life's battle to accomplish your plans?
Is your heart heavy laden? Do you fear the Lord's command?
Do you feel that no one loves you and there's no use to try?
Just bring your cares to Jesus; your soul He'll satisfy.

You may feel that there's no hope, broken hearts just cannot mend;
Tho you're torn in many pieces, Christ can make you whole again.
Storms of doubt blow all directions, but don't you be afraid.
God can make all corrections; He made a body out of clay.

Pick up the broken pieces and bring them to the Lord;
Pick up the broken pieces; trust in His Holy Word;
He will put them back together and make your life complete.
Just place the broken pieces at the Saviour's feet.
Broken pieces. Yeah, I feel like I've got a lot of that going on right now. I've got to keep reminding myself that I can't pick up those pieces myself, nor can I trust that someone else will come along and pick them up for me. Lord, I pray that you would take my broken pieces and make me whole again. Amen.


At Monday, August 07, 2006, Blogger neighborsgrrl said...

It was great seeing you too, Southern Man, at the birthday party/reunion! Hang in there -- you're going through a lot, but it'll get better. And having a creative outlet is a great way to express different parts of your personality and clear the head.

At Monday, September 25, 2006, Blogger Terri said...

That song means a lot to me, too. I posted the words on my blog. Just about every time we sing it at church, I bawl.

At Wednesday, October 17, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My grandmother sang this song in church for many years. She touched many lives with this song. She passed away Monday, October 15, 2007 at the age of 101. We were blessed to have her in our lives. Just wanted to share.

At Sunday, February 22, 2009, Blogger Chuck said...

Can anyone tell me where I can get a audio copy of the song "Broken Pieces"?


Post a Comment

<< Home