THIS STORY IS FICTION
My old roommate from Bible College, Davy Ballard told me this amazing story recently. Had anyone but Davy told it, I would have said they were a bit off key, but not Davy, he has always been the down to earth type.
You see Davy is the lead singer for the famous Gospel Quartet, “The Heavenly Host.” They just recently received the Dove award for their new release, “My Tears Became His Tears.” I am sure you are familiar with the lyrics:
My tears became His tears
And when He cried
All my sadness died.
While in Bible College, Davy would always quote those words. I asked where he heard them and he said they originated with his grandmother, Grandma Ballard. I met Grandma Ballard before she went to be with her Savior a few years ago. She was a real saint. She was a Doctor of Medicine and also held a degree in physics. She gave up an excellent career in Medicine to become a medical missionary working with refugees in Europe after World War II and then in Korea after the Korean War.
Whenever she and Davy would get together, she would always ask him when he was going to write that song with her favorite saying: “My tears became His tears.” She would insist it would be a blessing to millions. Davy would always respond, “Grandma, you know if you don’t tell me where you heard that saying, I could write a song and get sued by someone who may have a copyright to a song which contained those words.” Grandma Ballard would simply say those words came from heaven.
Well Davy did a trace on that saying and there was no copyright so he wrote his song.
As predicted by Grandma Ballard, it became an enormous hit and Davy received letters from around the world thanking him for this song. The first thing Davy did after receiving the Dove award was to purchase a cooper colored Jeep Wrangler and drive out to a little dirt water church in Northern Indiana, and it is there that his tale begins.
Grandma Ballard grew up in Tippecanoe, Indiana around the turn of the century. She and her family were solid members of the Tippecanoe Baptist Church and even after Grandma went off to the mission field, she always remained loyal to that little country church. In fact the Church had torn down its old sanctuary and rebuilt a new one with an educational addition named the Sarah Ballard Educational Wing. Unfortunately, Grandma Ballard passed away just months before the dedication of the new wing. Before she passed, however, she specifically asked Davy to sing at the dedication and to sing his new hit, “My tears became His tears.”
So Davy was now traveling some Northern Indiana back road trying to find his way to Tippecanoe, when he ran into a major thunderstorm. It grew so dark and the rain was so heavy that somehow he ended up on a dirt road. He was lost and on a road that obviously saw very little travel. He was grateful for having his Jeep Wrangler or he would have surely gotten stuck in the mud.
Now there is something you should know about Davy, perhaps it was his Grandmother’s influence, but Davy just adored children. In fact his first published music were songs for children. So it is no wonder that when he saw a little Amish girl sitting on a log crying, he had to stop. North Central Indiana is home to a very large Amish community.
When he drove up to her in his cooper colored Jeep Wrangler, the little Amish girl jumped up in fright. Davy, whose heart was naturally broken over the sobbing child, felt really bad that he had frightened her, so he quickly stopped and jumped out and carefully approached her. To his surprise when she looked into his face she ran up to him and hugged him crying and saying: “Daddy, oh Daddy.” You would have had to know Davy to know how much this really broke his heart. Fighting back tears of his own he said: “Oh child, I am not your father, I wish I were. But if you are lost I will protect you like your father and make sure you find your way home.” The little girl let go of Davy and just looked at him. Then she said: “Oh you look so like my father, but of course he died two days ago and you can’t be him.” Then Davy knelt down to look the little girl in the eyes. Davy always tried to stoop down to the level of a child when talking with children, he said it always showed respect to the child and made them more comfortable around adults. This situation was no different, even if it meant getting his white suit –trademark of the Heavenly Host, muddy.
Brushing away the child’s tears he said: “Oh, little daughter, I am so, so sorry you lost your father. But listen, Jesus feels so sad for you, it hurts Him when you cry. In fact His tears becomes your tears and when He cries, all your sadness will die. The little child simply said: “I like that.” “Now, little daughter,” said Davy, “You need to get back to your people, especially your mother, she really needs you now. Where are they?” The girl pointed down the road indicating her family was at church for the funeral, she was so grief stricken, that she ran away.
Davy then said in his magnificent way: “Step into my chariot daughter, and I will escort you home.” The little girl was awe struck: “I can ride in that?” “Of course,” said Davy, and once more I will let you feel the breath of heaven.” It was very muggy out after that rain storm and with a heavy suit on, Davy was anxious to get back into his Wrangler and turn the air conditioner on so he could get a little of that breath of heaven.
As they got into the Wrangler, the little girl asked: “What was that you said about tears?”
Davy said: “Here, I will play it for you.” Davy pushed his latest CD into the player and said: “Listen as the Heavenly Host sings “My tears became His tears.” With that Davy started the engine and patted the dash board proudly saying: “This baby has a few hundred horses in there.” The little girl acted like she was looking for the horses. Then the air conditioner came on about the same time the CD began playing “My Tears.” The little girl fell back into her seat with a look of pure joy as she listened to the Heavenly Host sing.
In only took a couple minutes before the Church came into view off in the distance. Davy was hit with a horrible thought. I am a famous gospel singer now. What if her people objected to a stranger giving one of their own a ride in a Wranger? What would happen if the tabloids got that story. Davy pulled the Wrangler off the road, out of sight of the church and turned to the little girl. “Hey, little daughter, you ok now?” He did not have to ask, her face just glowed with joy. Davy ejected the CD and handed to the child and said, “Keep this, so you will always remember that your tears will become the tears of Jesus. Grow up to be a woman who loves Jesus. And when you see someone else crying, you tell them Jesus is crying for them. Jesus will use the sadness you feel over the loss of your father to help others who are also sad. That is your mission in life, little one, now you go, start with your mother, and comfort her.” With a big smile the little child profusely thanked Davy and promised to spend her life helping others who are sad. “One last thing” said Davy, getting practical again. “Don’t tell anyone about me or my chariot here, ok? They might not understand.” She promised and left.
When Davy turned his Wrangler around he discovered he could not find the dirt road, but looking through the woods he saw a car go by and sure enough it was the highway. Once back on the highway, he had no problem getting to Tippecanoe Baptist Church. He was well received, everyone was talking about how wonderful his Grandmother was and how she was missed. He saw the brass placard placed in his Grandmothers memory at the entrance to the educational wing:
My tears became His tears
Davy heard a voice behind him say: “An angel gave her those words your know.” Turning around he saw a man in late middle age. He introduced himself as Ben Miller “I was in her Sunday School class years and years ago.” Ben began to explain, “Your Grandmother told us a secret. After her father passed away, she was so heartbroken that she ran off into the woods during the funeral. There she met an angel, all dress in white, who looked just like her father. He came in a golden chariot. It was that angel who gave her those words and it was there she gave her life to God for missionary service.” Davy smiled and said: “I really appreciate you telling me this, Ben. Grandma was always so evasive when I asked about the origin of that phrase. Now I know why, she probably thought I would think she was crazy if she told me the truth.” “You think it actually happened” asked Ben. “I’ve never known Grandma to lie,” replied Davy.
“Hey Davy,” said Pastor John who just stepped up by his side. “I forgot to tell you, we have a special ceremony to perform, at your grandmother’s request. In fact this is why your grandmother insisted you attend this dedication. There is apparently a gift she wanted to give to you.
The whole church adjourned into the gymnasium of the new Sarah Ballard wing. There on a table sat a beautiful walnut box with a lock on it. Pastor John explained: “When we tore down the old sanctuary to build our new educational wing, we found a time capsule that was placed in the corner stone of the old Church building when it was built. Your grandmother was about 12 years old at that time. She told us she put this walnut box in the time capsule and when we opened the time capsule she instructed us not to open the walnut box unto you arrived. There was something in there she wanted you to have.
So now, drum roll please, as Ben applies the cutters and cuts off the lock.” With much exaggerated flourish the lock was cut and Pastor John carefully opened the box to reveal its contents. When he did, everyone gasped. The whole church fell silent as everyone looked to Davy for an explanation. Davy had none, only to say: “One day with the Lord is as a thousand years.” Davy then reached into that box that had not been opened in over 70 years and picked up the CD of the Heavenly Host, entitled: “My tears became His tears.
AUTHOR’ NOTE: THIS STORY IS FICTION