by Joey Davis
"Summertime, and the living is easy. fish jumpin' and the cotton is high, yo' daddy's rich and yo' momma's good lookin'. So hush little baby, don't you cry. "
These are the beginning lyrics from the first African-American Opera in history, "Porgy and Bess." The song: Summertime. These lyrics remain etched in my brain, for as a child, the sweetest voice amongst God's creation sang them to me.
One of my most lasting memories is of sitting in my mother's lap being rocked to sleep to momma singing Summertime. I have a copy of Summertime recorded by the velvety voice of Sam Cook. However, to me, nobody could sing it as sweetly as my mother.
When Olivia was newborn, Melissa would get up with her at night for her nightly feedings. I remember one night hearing Melissa singing to Olivia, "Summertime and the living is easy..." I got up and asked Melissa, "where did you hear that song?" She said, "mom sang it to me when I was a child." What a coincidence.
However, it was no coincidence that she remembered the song. For the sweetest voice Melissa has ever heard sung it to her. And Olivia win remember it because the sweetest voice she will ever hear has blessed her with its lyrics as well.
Is the song Summertime special? Absolutely! My mother's voice helped me conquer monsters under my bed, consoled me in times of heartbreak, righted me in times of doubt, and continues to encourage me to this day. Hearing the voice of the one who gave you life is more than memorable...it is a craving.
The other day, as I was about to pullout of my driveway, I scoured my tapecase looking for good music. In the back of the case, I came across my Sam Cook tape. I fast forwarded to Summertime, and as 'Sam's voice came through the speakers, I heard momma. For a brief moment, I was blessed to return to the rocking chair at 1902 Upland Drive...and my hectic life experienced comfort and reassurance...
...Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me..." ( John 10:27) For those who comprehend Jesus as the one who has given them life, hearing his voice is more than memorable...it is a craving. It is an unexplainable, incessant, and overwhelming desire to be in His presence.
This week while you search for good reading, read His words of comfort, and listen to His voice of reassurance. For a brief moment in time, allow Him to bless you with a return visit to places like Bethlehem, the Mount of Olives, and the hill of Calvary to hear the sweetest voice sing His wonderful song of hope.
March 31, 1996
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