During Lent the Bread Line Columns will be ideas from
“A Practical Christianity” by Jane Shaw
About 50 years ago a jazz singer named Jimmy Scott seemed ready to make his big break. People were certain he would become a star like Frank Sinatra. His voice was unusual because he had Kellman’s Syndrome, a hormone deficiency which stunted his growth and meant that
his voice had an extraordinary quality—it was like a young boy’s voice with the maturity of a grown man’s experience. Some thought he sounded like Billie Holiday.
In 1963 he recorded the album that everyone thought would make him a household name, then there was a problem with the contract and the album was pulled while Jimmy Scott was away on his honeymoon. Though he did continue to sing, Jimmy Scott spent most of the rest of his working life as an elevator operator and shipping clerk in a hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In the 1990’s he began to make a comeback and then in 2003, forty years after it was made his album Falling In Love Again was brought out to critical acclaim.
When Jimmy Scott was interviewed on the radio that year he had no bitterness, no resentment, only delight that the album was being rereleased. Asked if he ever thought this day would come, he said, “Well, I always had hope.”
When rejection and disappointment happened to Jimmy Scott he was not defeated or bitter, nor did he point fingers and blame his record label— he shook the dust from his feet and made a different life for himself and he kept hoping. When his jazz album came out when he was 78 he was simply grateful. He said, “What’s the grudge for? What’s the hate for” You live on and on with that anger and that hate in you and it takes effect. You have to use a little wisdom and a little understanding. I’m not the only person in the world that this has happened to. What, I’m gonna’ sit and cry by myself?”
Jesus says to his disciples, “If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust from your feet. . .” This is one of the most useful pieces of advice Jesus gives the disciples— and to us. It’s that little bit of wisdom that Jimmy Scott speaks of—and it an make the difference between a life of bitterness and a life of joy.
Our Lenten Study begins tomorrow, February 21. Assignments for food are listed below—two people will be responsible each week. You can work together to decide what you want to bring—example pizza and salad.
February 21: Jana and Olin
February 28: Jorene and Michelle
March 7: Charlie and Rod
March 14: Michelle and Olin
March 21: Rod and Jorene
March 28: Jana and Charlie