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Summary: This was a sermonette for a well established church member.

James 5:9

"He never said a mumbling word."-By Reverend A. Lamar Torrence.

There is a old negro spiritual usually sung during this season of Lent, call “Calvary” One of the classic lines read, “They crucified my Lord but he never said a mumbling word. “ Such can be said of our friend and brother, Clovis Hussey, that at least of what I know, He never said a mumbling word, not a word, not a word, not a mumbling word. That although pain and plight invaded his body, although trials and tribulations inhabited his life, through it all, he never said a mumbling word. This is a tribute to one of the Lord’s beloved sheep who never bucked, wandered away, or complained. This is a tribute to one of the few who never said a mumbling word.

In the little he did say Clovis spoke volumes. As one of Cross of Life’s leaders working on the stewardship committee Clovis often spoke to his personal desire to grow in the Lord. My first conversation with him had to do with his own feelings about his capabilities as a leader; He said to me, “Pastor, I must confess that I know I need to grow more spiritually to be an effective leader in this church. I responded, well with that very statement, you have already taken your first steps towards growing in Christ. Clovis never spoke a mumbling word because of his ability to speak humbly of himself.

As a friend he wasn’t afraid to tell you the truth about yourself. I know that it must have been awkward, to sit down with me as his pastor and discuss my financial profile and plans for the future. At the time I met Clovis, my credit wasn’t so hot. And my debt was extreme. And Clovis was able to ask me some hard questions that honestly, I don’t think I had ever asked myself. And he was able to look me straight in eye and say, “well if that’s your goal, then you have work on your credit.” And I thank him for that honest confrontation. You see Clovis never said a mumbling word because he was not afraid to speak the truth.

I also believe that mumbling words never came from his mouth due to ever increasing faith in the almighty. Whatever transitions he had to make in life, Clovis response to me, “You know Pastor, You got to have faith.” And he kept that optimism when raising his two daughters, being a loving husband to his wife, being a beloved son and brother. Through it all, Clovis would simply say to me whenever I asked, Clovis, How are you doing, You Know Pastor, You have to have faith. I’m trusting in God. I guess having the ability to never complain about your circumstances is derived from faith. And as I watched Brother Clovis faithful enter worship service even on Sundays when he took all his energy, I knew he had faith.

So to my parishioner, to my financial advisor, to my friend who never uttered a mumbling word, I lift up these poetic words that serve as your testimony to us who do murmur and complain,

“I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight. My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have. Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free. Today I can feel sad that I don’t have more money or I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste. Today I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive. Today I can lament over all that my parents didn’t give me when I was growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born. Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that thorns have roses. Today I can mourn my lack of friends or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new job relationships. Today I can whine because I have to go to work or I can shout for joy because I have a job to go to! Today I can complain because I have to go to school or eagerly open my mind and fill it with knowledge and adventure. Today I can dejectedly murmur because I have housework to do or I can feel grateful for shelter for my mind, body and soul. Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped, and here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping. What today will be like is up to me. And I shall decide what kind of day I shall have!" How will you live THIS DAY?

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