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Over the weekend, I was praying the Psalms, and a line in Psalm 136 — the well-known lament of the Jewish exiles held captive “by the waters of Babylon” — made me pause in my prayers:
How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?
Once again, Ruthie is showing us the way forward. Julie returned last evening from several days in St. Francisville, helping out and visiting. After the kids were in bed, we talked about what she’d seen. I told her that I anticipated this being like the post-9/11 experience: how you didn’t see how things could ever be normal again, but eventually we all absorbed the event, and got on with our lives.
“That’s it,” Julie said. “And let me tell you, they’re already there. Ruthie’s house is bubbling over with joy these days. She’s fine. I mean, she’s not fine, she’s got cancer, but she and Mike are dealing with it amazingly well. They’re laughing all the time, enjoying their friends, and even making cancer jokes. They hadn’t gotten around to taking down the Christmas lights from their house, so Mike’s now calling them ‘cancer awareness lights.”
How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? Watch and listen; Ruthie and Mike Leming are showing us how it’s done.
(Photos of Ruthie and Mike, and Ruthie and her eldest daughter Hannah, courtesy of Jeannie Frey Rhodes, a fantastic Baton Rouge photographer who took portraits of the Lemings last week, and who has kindly given me permission to post her work here.)