“One More Time”

When I think of “people of Grace Klein,” I will always think of Beulah Brown and thank God that the Womacks invited us along to meet her. Jesus gave them a friendship with Beulah that they quickly shared with all of us. Many people have taught me about community in this almost 10 year journey serving with Grace Klein Community and the saying really is true “we are better together.”

Beulah has made us better. She took us all in and became our Jesus family. She demonstrated, by her life, all our fun little slogans: “others first,” “what’s mine is yours,” “community is a verb, not a noun,” “better together,” and “love, serve, share, repeat.”

She lived to share Jesus. No one could have possible met this woman without knowing her great love for Jesus. She always talked about Him and the impact He had on her life was obvious by the crazy love she gave to hundreds of people in her lifetime. Many pray they will go, having given God all they had, that they left nothing on the table. That’s our girl. She gave her life away in hopes that we would all follow Jesus. She knew the treasure she had in her relationship with Jesus was what everyone needed, more than any worldly possession, success, career, etc. and she was determined we all knew who we better get to know if we wanted an abundant life. She was a sold out, loving, prayerful, generous, worshiper and follower of Jesus Christ. She was not perfect, but she was confident in her forgiveness, through Jesus, and no matter how difficult the trial, she lived by faith and trust in God.

We’ve sat in her den and laughed until we cried as she taught us so much about Jesus, cooking, wearing hats, and her Wednesday evening sex education classes that she proudly brought to us on Saturdays. She held nothing back from us. She shared about growing up a pastor’s child, living through the Civil Rights era in Selma, AL, what it felt like to trust God as a single mama for her two biological girls and so many more children, coordinating bus drivers for the school system, and her investment in the families that lived on her street. She had her favorite fried fish place and don’t you think she didn’t have Jay or Keith run up the road to get us a plate to share.

Many times she would sing for us and with us. Those pipes. They would send chills right down your spines, as if for a few moments we were worshiping with an angel. She sang everywhere – in her house, our house, community events, by the creek, at another community friend’s funeral, at her church, around a campfire and in the car. She loved to worship Jesus through singing and taught us lots of African spirituals. Nobody can sing better or with more soul than our Beulah.

One thing Beulah loved to do is meet community friends from around the world and they loved to meet her too. She sang with missionaries from Romania, South Africa, Namibia, and Zambia that would come to the United States for a visit. She encouraged them, prayed for them, and sang over them. Often they would sing “Amazing Grace” in various languages, all at the same time, and it felt like heaven came to earth. Today she’s singing in heaven and as my friend said, “Heaven hasn’t seen dance moves like that ;)” We all know she’s throwing down worshiping our Father in heaven and she gets to do that for eternity. She looked so forward to this day.

One time we convinced Beulah to go on a road trip with us to Louisiana. On the way we stopped to share a meal with some of her friends, that became our friends, in Jackson, MS. We stayed with some other friends in Jackson that night so we could see my nephew be baptized on the way to LA. She got on to me for sleeping late as she said she had done come and gone to the Holy Land while I was asleep. She had been looking at pictures of our friend’s trip.

When we made it to LA, we found ourselves staying in a fancy plantation home, touring gardens that I have never seen more beautiful before or since, and eating the finest cuisine. Beulah was in absolute shock at all of it and she would go sit on the back patio from time to time to journal. I asked her one time what she was doing and she said, “I gotta write all this down, I’m not forgetting.” One evening the power went out and we found ourselves at a picnic out by this beautiful lake on one of the properties. They had lanterns everywhere for light, platters of food, and free flowing wine. Beulah said, “this wine doesn’t taste good” and I had to tell her to hush as the owner of the place, who was hosting the party, had the wine shipped down from his own vineyard. We took her mud riding in the car around the plantation grounds, as we wanted to check it out, and she kept hollering for Jason to slow down as she was so nervous we were going to end up in the lake. We didn’t know those people in LA, (it was our first time to meet them too.) They shared their home with us as we were picking up a missionary who had flown in from Africa. What a gift it was to share this fancy time with Beulah. She didn’t think we stopped enough for snacks when we were on the drive to and from Louisiana, but she didn’t tell us that until later. One time later she told us, “you about starved me on that trip to Louisiana. I had to live on those pork skins I bought at the gas station.”

When I think about Beulah, I am filled with joy. She brought laughter to my days. The first two years we knew each other she thought all I did was laugh. She was just so funny, I couldn’t help myself. Every time I would leave her house, my sides would hurt so much from hours of continuous laughing. We cried a lot together too. She knew when something was wrong and she would call me out and pray for me. She even trusted us for Keith to come live with our family for a little when she was sure she might kill him if he and her didn’t find some space from each other. She helped us unpack when we moved, made food for many dinners, brought her grandkids to Oak Mountain so they could camp in the woods with many of us, required me to try oxtail, taught Melissa and I how to properly wear hats, and sang at a community baptism. I’m not sure we ever missed a time together that we didn’t pray together. She always reminded us where the Power came from – Jesus.

She joked she was white on the inside and I’m for sure black, (you will see one day when we are with Jesus) so we went well together, like the best tasting Oreo. She made us her family. She called us when she needed something and we called her when we needed something. She loved us with all she had, any of us and all of us. To say we are going to miss Beulah Brown doesn’t seem like enough words. I am gonna go ahead and call it for my mansion to be next to hers in paradise because we need way more time together. (Her block may be crowded.) These years went by too fast and my heart aches for my Beulah and that beautiful singing reminder of “One More Time!”

Here are some of the lyrics. I would tear up almost every time she sang them. I always wanted one more time. God gave us many “one more times” and I thank Him for each one.

“One More Time”

CHORUS:
One more time, one more time
He allowed us to come together (just – I’m pretty sure she added that word) one more time,
One more time, one more time
He allowed us to come together one more time

One more time, one more time
He allowed us to sing together one more time,
One more time, one more time
He allowed us to sing together one more time

One more time, one more time
He allowed us to pray together one more time,
One more time, one more time
He allowed us to pray together one more time,

One more time, one more time
He allowed us to shout together one more time,
One more time, one more time
He allowed us to shout together one more time.

Before you leave… see Beulah Brown, One More Time…

Donate Now
X

Donate by Mail: by making out a check to "Grace Klein Community" with you designation in the memo line and send it to:

Grace Klein Community, 1678 Montgomery Highway. #104, Birmingham, AL 35216

Donate Online: by filling out the form below. Keep in mind that there will be a 2.9% fee taken from all PayPal donations, though you have the option to pay that fee at the end of the form, if you feel led to be so generous.