Remembering Doug Grubbs (1929-2011)
By Terri Burton
Most of all I
remember his voice. He sat in the back of our church and I sat across the aisle
from him. Every Sunday the whole congregation prayed the Lord’s Prayer aloud.
Each Sunday I heard this male voice, just a bit louder than all the other men
and just about one-half beat off from the unison. The voice was connected to
the prayer in a way that was different from the rest of us. My first thought
was that he personally knew whom he was speaking to and was not on rote.
Finally, my curiosity got the best of me one Sunday and during prayer I opened
my eyes to see who this unique voice belonged to. Later I found out that it
was Doug Grubbs.
Months passed, perhaps a year or more and then he came
over to me before church started. He looked me straight in the eye for a moment
before speaking. With his finger pointed at my face he asked, “Are you the
woman that tells stories?” Immediately I was a child again with my mother
asking if it was the truth or did I make up a “story”?. I said nothing. I was
stunned trying to figure out what he could be talking about. He asked again,
“Well, are you or not? You know the woman that tells stories in the paper?”
Ahh, the articles for the church newsletter. I answered, “I am”. And still
pointing at me, he said “You’re good, really good. I read them every time. Do
you know what makes them good? They are from your heart. Do you know how I
know they’re from your heart? They touch my heart!” as he started beating his
fist on his chest.
“Don’t you ever stop, you hear? The world needs
your stories, I need your stories.” Very quickly he turned and walked away. I
told him “Thank you. Thank you.” as he left me. He may have been embarrassed
by my tears but I believe he knew he had just given me a gift.
him, I miss his voice, his heart.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
By Terri Burton
It was an ordinary day about to become extraordinary. I was sitting at a table in an antique mall pricing items to put in my booth. A friend walked past and asked if I minded her aunt joining me to rest her legs. She sat down and told me she was 86 years old and then she jumped into the “deep”. No conversations about weather or illnesses for this lady, she wanted to share from her heart. I leaned forward to listen.
“I was 60 years old when my husband died after a two year struggle with cancer. The next year my only daughter was killed by a drunk driver in a car wreck. He never served a minutes time for that. Something surely was not right about that. I hardly spoke for about a year, hardly ate. The pain in my heart was horrible. I didn’t care if I lived or died. One evening I was rocking in my chair and God spoke to me. He said I needed a baby to rock. I thought I was going crazy. A baby at my age, that was crazy. I didn’t sleep all night and the next morning I got on the phone and started calling people. A friend of mine laughed and said she knew just the baby for me. A neighbor of hers had a baby boy and she was looking for someone to watch him while she worked. Within two weeks, I was rocking that boy and I raised him. Two years later his sister was born and I raised her too. They are in their twenties now and they both call me Granny. I had a reason to live again and the pain lessened. God helped me when I didn’t know what to do.”
A lesson in love and healing was freely given to me that day and to you as we make our own way Home.