Tribute to Mosie Lister 2015
Mosie Lister was a study in contrasts. He wrote more happy songs than almost any other writer. He gave our feet songs to dance to when we were “feelin’ mighty fine.” He seemed to feel the happy rhythms of life itself, and how he loved rhythms–intricate, syncopated, grin-making rhythms! Joy was his wish for this service, so we will best have honored him by being joyful.
Mosie also walked the path of loneliness and doubt. He gave us chords and words to express the times of fog when nothing seems clear and happy rhythms are but a dim memory. He was a master of affirming a deep faith and the choice to trust what we have come to know from our history with God. In so many of his songs he reminded us to trust what we have experienced about the character of our Father until the mist subsides, the path begins to re-appear, and the joy returns.
When we feel the pain of loneliness, he encouraged us to stay put in the place where no one stands alone.
He helped us recognize the tricks of the enemy of our souls that uses as his battle tactic the times of discouragement to whisper the toxic notion, “There’s no need to try, for there’s no end of sorry, there’s no hope by and by.”
Yet even if this whole human experience turns out to be a storm of sorts, a strong song appears at just the right time to throw us a buoy with the assurance that the storm will, indeed, pass by and that our souls are dwelling in a land where the tempest never comes.
If Mosie left us any message in his 84 years of writing, it is clear that that message would be: Don’t let Satan steal your joy! Hard times will come, but say good-bye to the blues as soon as you can by recalling the goodness of the Lord who will never let go of your hand.
Today he is for sure feelin’ mighty fine, and, I have a feeling, wishing he could take the solo on the last verse of this song:
Now don’t you weep for me when I’m gone,
For I won’t have to leave here alone;
And when I hear that last trumpet sound,
My feet won’t stay on the ground!
I’m gonna rise with a shout, gonna fly!
Gonna rise with my Lord in the sky!
Heaven is near, and I can’t stay here–
Good-bye world, good-bye!
Feb. 24, 2015