By Celeste Clydesdale
My husband David and I got home last night from a children’s music conference where we were able to share what God has been teaching us. We taught about the seven different Hebrew words for praise in the Old Testament, specifically in the Psalms. I’m not going to go into this in great detail except to say that, just like there are four different Greek words for love in the New Testament, the Bible actually uses seven different words to describe different ways He has given us to praise Him. I’ve kind of been consumed with studying these words and have tried to incorporate them into my own worship time at home.
When David and I were at the airport, I noticed an Orthodox Jewish man rocking back and forth, praying with his prayer book in the corner. I wondered what he was praying or if he was using any of the Hebrew words in his prayers. Don’t worry, I didn’t bother him, and we proceeded to our gate. We found some empty seats, and two minutes later, another Orthodox Jewish man came and sat right across from me with an adorable little girl in a stroller! (Now, I’m not one who believes in coincidence. My pastor calls them “annointments” for anointed appointments.)
The gentleman seemed nice enough, so I started making small talk about his cute baby girl. (She really was cute!) Pretty soon, his wife joined him and the conversation started flowing. I learned they were from Brooklyn, New York, she teaches children, and he teaches high school at an Orthodox Jewish Boys School. He said he didn’t grow up “religious” and that he was raised as a Reformed Jew. He said that means they’re Jews who pick and choose what they want to believe. (I told him we have some of those too.) Next he started telling me about his suit, his prayer tassels, and how he prays three times a day.
Now I’m not the smoothest talker in the world, and I really don’t know much about the Jewish way of life, but they seemed open to my questions. Suddenly, I remembered my seven Hebrew words of praise! He started smiling and our conversation perked up quite a bit. I loved it. His Hebrew was better than mine by the way.
We chatted a while longer, and then they had to board their plane. Our conversation ended with all of us saying, “God bless you” to each other. I smiled all the way home and praised God for allowing our paths to cross. (Tehillah praise by the way.) My prayer is that God will open their eyes to see Jesus as the fulfillment of scripture and their Messiah. I pray our kind conversation and our time together brought glory to the Father.
About the author:
Celeste Clydesdale has a passion for bringing God’s Word into the hearts and lives of children through the gift of music. She has written over 30 musicals, received numerous Dove Awards, and directed children’s choirs in Southern California, San Antonio, Texas, and Nashville, Tennessee. She currently lives in Franklin, TN with her super talented husband, David T. Clydesdale, where they attend Grace Chapel in Leiper’s Fork.