Thursday, March 3

A life of praise 

“My mouth is filled with your praise declaring your splendor all day long.” 

Psalm 71:8 

Leon and I sat down and tried to come up with his favorite Bible verse and decided we would go with a verse that re-minds me of Leon, his life experience and his personality. Psalm 71 speaks to me regarding Leon and his life as it has unfolded.

Leon has been a lifelong member of St. John’s, worshiping most of his life at the 11 am traditional service. He loves the hymns and liturgy. He sings along with the hymns and knows the liturgy. To hear Leon say the Lord’s Prayer makes my heart soar. He says it with such conviction and determi-nation.

These days Leon can be found at the 9:27 service and while he does not know contemporary songs he taps his feet and pats his leg as songs are sung. Upon leaving the 9:27 service and after coffee, he has to be back in his room to listen to the 11 am service on the radio.

Leon’s daily life has always been filled with praise and splen-dor. Before coming to Trinity Oaks he was known as the Mayor of Maupin Avenue. There he spent his days visiting neighbors, standing on the corner waving to folks driving by or hanging out at the cemetery. As Trinity Oaks Mayor, part of his responsibility is to greet and open the front door. Leon always welcomes me with the same two greetings every morning, “You’re late!” and “You doing OK?” He asks ques-tions of everyone coming in the door and has something to tell them about the goings on at Trinity Oaks.

Leon is able to view the world and see people in a naïve way and has little worldly troubles like most of us, but his gift is that God has placed him in a place where he is able to spread praise and splendor to those around him. We choose the path of praise when we open our mouths and declare splendor in our interactions with others. In our day-to-day lives filled with work, family and responsibilities, it can be hard to exude praise and project splendor all the time.

Sometimes we have to stop and think before we speak and take the time to interact with our neighbors or co-workers.

Please take time to read Psalm 71 in its entirety. As you reflect on you own life — and Leon’s, if you know him — in the context of this Psalm, think about how God is your ref-uge, your hope, your strength in weakness, your rock and fortress and deliverer from adversity. God has been with us from our birth and will remain with us through our aging. Praise be to God!

Lord, may I make the choice to praise you and show your splendor in my daily walk with you today. Amen. 

Bill Johnson and Leon Williams 


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