“Praise the Lord/ Praise the Lord/Let the people rejoice/Praise the Lord/Praise the Lord/ Let the people rejoice/Oh, praise to the Father and Praise to the Son/ To them be the glory/ Great things they have done”
I recently learned this refrain from one of the many new friends I’ve been honored to make since moving to central Vermont. Lyndol Hutchinson taught it to me during a warm Tuesday early this fall when I first started visiting him. With a low hum to test his pitch, Lyndol launched into his praise with fervor. Sitting in an over-stuffed easy chair, unseeing eyes tracking the shifting shadows of the afternoon, Lyndol kept warm under a pile of blankets and sang with full-hearted praise to his savior. Reaching out a hand to navigate his surroundings, Lyndol continued with “The Old Rugged Cross” and then “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.” His voice sounded rich and pleasant, tremulous with old age but confident from years of choir-singing. Later, gripping the rope that guides him around the home, Lyndol continued, “Praise the Lord,” a bellow that made up for the aged slump of his back and the weakness of his ears. Taking his pills – enough to cure an army of elephantitis and make them all a little giddy to boot, Lyndol tells me – he echoed, “let the people rejoice” before getting to a supper of frozen spaghetti, canned fruit, and a generous mug of strawberry Ensure.