No greater joy
Monday, January 7, 2019 at 12:44PM

Last night, in our church's Sunday evening service, Andrew and Brittany sang a duet for special music.

I've heard them sing together before, but only once: at Cherica's wedding, last May.

They blend beautifully. Andrew's voice is a smooth baritone and Brittany's is a creamy but clear alto.

They've both had a great deal of experience in church music. Andrew has been singing both as a soloist and in groups since he was a teenager; Brittany has sung with her mother and sister for practically her whole life.

As TG remarked when the song was over, Britt didn't let Andrew drown her out. Not that he would have, but his voice is strong.

His bride more than held her own. The song was melodic and meaningful, and its delivery was heartfelt. It was not a performance.

So naturally, as they sang, my eyes began to sting with tears.

I'm a lifelong cryer. Rare does the day occur when I don't cry at least once. I don't resist anymore; there are worse things than crying.

Like, for example, not crying.

But you know how it is. Your young'uns are on display, putting themselves out there, taking risks, contributing, giving their all, offering their best, bringing value to a situation not for their own glory, but for God's.

Your throat swells first, then come the prickes behind your eyeballs, then the veil of moisture, then the grubbing blindly in your purse for the handkerchief to dab discreetly in a bid to save your mascara.

At least, that's me.

When the song was almost concluded, Brittany was unable to sing the last few words. At first I thought she'd gotten a tickle in her throat, but as Andrew sang the last note alone, she put her hand on his chest and smiled and looked up at him.

It was a half-second -- maybe less -- but it touched my already swelling heart. It was a gesture of dependence and of love. As the amens rang out, they walked down from the platform and sat in their regular place, one pew ahead of us.

TG looked at me and his eyes were glazed with emotion. He was trying to hide it but no go. I sniffed.

I looked to my right, at Audrey. Her eyes were welling. She looked at me.

Whoa, Nelly.

(I have noticed throughout my life that if one of my children witnesses a tear either forming in or falling from my eye, they immediately begin bawling. I don't know what makes them do that. But if they're already emotional, then see that I'm out of pocket? Katie bar the door.)

It was that point in the service when our pastor bids us stand and sing the first verse of Amazing Grace, before milling around for a minute or so, greeting one another and being friendly.

Hand-shaking time, we call it. Also there's a fair amount of hugging.

So as our pianist played the Baptist National Anthem, everyone spilled into the aisles.

We Webers? We instantly and instinctively moved toward one another -- TG, me, Andrew, Brittany, Audrey, Dagny (Chad and Erica were sitting in another section, with his parents, or they would've been in the middle of it too) -- and commenced hugging and rejoicing and shedding a few excess happy tears.

We were like a clot of overgrown babies, laughing and blubbering all at the same time. Even Andrew misted. Brittany's eyes were still damp and she was shaky. 

People friends who sit near us noticed our dilemma and were smiling too. One of the World's Sweetest People -- her name is Becky -- came to us and joined our loving bubble.

I know, I know, I know! Becky said, her pretty face glowing. Because she does. And we were all kind of embarrassed but not really.

And as everyone returned to their places to prepare for the preaching, Becky and I agreed that we have no greater joy than to hear that our children walk in truth.

Many years ago a wise person told me that we shouldn't say we are proud of our children.

Yes; I know what we mean when we say it. But God hates pride -- it goes before destruction -- and I have enough of it naturally occurring in my sinful obstinate soul, that I refuse to actively engage in anything that remotely smacks of pride.

And I'm certainly not going to announce to all and sundry that I have anything to be proud of.

What you should say, the wise person told me, is that you are grateful.

And I am. So grateful for my children -- each one of them -- for the ways they've grown, for how hard they work, for all that God has both done for them and enabled them to do, and for each time and any way in which He sees fit to use them.

They are all imperfect people, the offspring of flawed individuals. They've had a lot to overcome, as have we all. But I see them seeking and taking a direction opposite of the one the world encourages all people -- especially the young -- to take, and I am full of gratitude for that.

And in case you were wondering, here are the words that Brittany and Andrew sang.


When I'm low in spirit, I cry Lord, lift me up

I want to go higher with Thee

But the Lord knows I can't live on a mountain

So He picked out a valley for me.

He leads me beside still waters

Somewhere in the valley below

He draws me aside to be tested and tried

But in the valley he restoreth my soul.

It's dark as a dungeon and the sun seldom shines

And I question, Lord, why must this be

But He tells me there's strength in my sorrow

And there's victory in trials for me.

He leads me beside still waters

Somewhere in the valley below

He draws me aside to be tested and tried

But in the valley He restoreth my soul.

= Dottie Rambo=


Happy Monday

Article originally appeared on I'm Having A Thought Here (
See website for complete article licensing information.