Testimonies & Stories

Testimonies & Stories

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John “Jack” Adams

March 1, 2018

And we just sang

Dear friends,

You might characterize my persona as stoic, resolute and/or strong in my handling of life’s adversities.  Perhaps even “pig headed” may come mind.  However, there have been times and events when I was reduced to a sobbing mess.  One such occasion from a little over 21 years ago was the pre-mature birth of our first Grandson, Thomas Liem Adams is strong testimony to God’s ever present hand in our lives.

Earlier this year, Diane & I were comfortably seated in the Chancel of the First Presbyterian Church of Bradenton listening to Pastor Dino Rustin’s Sermon “God, Our Protector”. At this point I confess that the exact Scripture verses that underlie the Sermon escape me. The “take away” from that Sunday was that God protected all of us during those first anxious days of Tom’s arrival.  Suffice it to say that being born quite prematurely had stacked the odds against this tiny little fellow.  Tears of joy mixed with gut-wrenching fear were shed with every visit to Tom’s first home in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) for weeks.

Tom’s parents, John and Janet, as Medical Professionals (Trauma Critical Care Surgeon and Pharmacist) kept us appraised of the technical details of his care and his prognosis.  While we were assured that Tom was going to be “all right”, we were not comforted by medical terms that we had only superficial knowledge of.  What could Diane and I do to “fix” this?  Yes, I foolishly thought I could “control any situation” just as I had done in my day to day work!

Each day during those first weeks, donning the surgical garb and scrubbing in before each visit to Tom drove home the fact that he had a very traumatic arrival into this world.  Being who I am, I still felt that we needed to do something (anything) and struggled with our helplessness.  I don’t recall why we did it, but one night, almost simultaneously, Diane and I stood over his incubator and broke out into subdued vocal renditions of every nursery song we that came into our minds:

  • Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so …
  • Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb …
  • Little red caboose, chug, chug, chug, little red caboose …
  • Jesus loves the little children. All the little children of the world …
  • All around the cobbler’s bench, the monkey chased the weasel …
  • Jesus wants me for a Sun Beam, to shine for him each day …

I suspect that the NICU staff found our “serenading” somewhat perplexing to say the least.  To this day, I believe that in that moment God told us what we should “do”. So the repertoire of secular nursery and sacred children’s Sunday School songs echoed in the NICU at every visit with the tiny fellow. Janet remarked years later that she found a sense of comfort as we sang to her baby boy during those visits.

Reflecting on Pastor Dino’s words in the Sermon, it finally dawned on me (over 20+ years later) that during troubled times God guided us through the power of prayer and songs of praise …  “And we just sang”

God continues to guide, protect, comfort, and love Tom and all of us.  We offer him our praise in prayer and song!  Recalling the words of God’s Prophet Elijah – “He watching over Israel, slumbers not nor sleeps”.


In Christ





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