“I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” John 12:46
May 11, 2020 - In the late forties, we moved to East Center (Texas) just two fences and a pasture from Mama, our Preacher/Grandmother Sister Oleatha Richards. Mama and Paw Paw lived next to The Pentecostal Church that she pastored. My brother Bill and I were eleven and nine years old and loved singing together. Mama asked us one day to sing in her church and we practiced on the only song we knew well, 'You Are My Sunshine.'
When we began our song that morning, Mama and the whole congregation looked shocked as we sang our song. Afterwards, she asked us to sing a 'church song' next time. A lot of people were signing that song in the forties. Louisiana Governor Jimmy Davis had written and recorded it in 1940 and it became his theme song.
In 1990 Pam and I moved back to East Texas where I became Pastor of The First Baptist Church of Shelbyville, Texas. Church member Joe Higginbottom asked us to go to Nacogdoches to hear Ex-Louisiana Governor Jimmy Davis sing. “He’s in his nineties and is still singing,” Joe said. When the 95-year-old singer was introduced that night, he walked slowly on the stage with the help of his young wife and began singing his theme-song, 'You Are My Sunshine.'
Jimmy did a much better job singing that night than Bill and I had in the forties, but the more I think about it, the more I believe the song could be both secular and spiritual… and Jimmy Davis thought so, too. After all, who brings light to our lives and “makes us happy all day long?”
All Christians know the answer.