The old man could not carry a tune in a syrup bucket, but he loved to sing, even if it was off-key! Besides, he was bad about “amen-ing” the preacher. Services had degenerated into an “undignified” assembly because of the old man. He simply got too involved in the “goings on” and forgot himself.
Four of the more well-to-do members decided that this old fellow was just too crude for the congregation. They appointed themselves as the ones to go and talk to the old man.
When they arrived at the old fellow’s house, he was in the field plowing with his old mule. Though it was beneath their dignity, they finally walked out through the dusty ground which soiled their fine clothes to talk to the old timer. “Brother Jones,” they began, “we want to talk to you about your singing. Not meaning any offense, but you just cannot sing. We wish you would try not to sing so loud because frankly, your singing ruins our services!”
“I am sorry,” the old fellow replied, “but it is just that when I look at these old clothes that I wear and then I think of them robes that God has for me, I just cannot help singing. And when I see that old shack over yonder that I live in and realize that it is liable to fall any time, and then I think about the beautiful palace that God has for me, I just have to sing praises to my Lord. You fellers see this old hat I got on? Well, when I see that crown in my mind that God has for me, I just have to yell that wonderful name of Jesus at the top of my lungs!”
“As a matter of fact,” he said, “would one of you fellers mind holding my mule? I feel like singing now.”
They left him right there, singing away in the field! And as these four men left the old fellow out there singing they viewed him in a different light. One said to the rest, “You know, his singing is not really all that bad.” Another said, “I never really realized how sweet his voice really is.” The third said, “I just hope that God will allow me to sing in the same group that he sings in.”
When I read that story it made me feel like singing–if you’re not so inclined would you “hold my mule”?