This man’s songs rang a bell in many people’s heart

This man and I have shared lots of kind, warm, supportive, heart-connecting laughter. He was a great delight to be around. I found out a few days ago that Curtis Littlepage has left this world.

Curtis encouraged multitudes as a “bell ringer” for The Salvation Army in Nashville. But he was more than a “ringer,” he was a singer. Curtis loudly and joyfully sang Christmas songs and spirituals in front of Kroger and Walmart stores for years. You could hear his love and joy all over the parking lot.

I would pick up his kettle at night and Curtis would still be enthusiastically singing after 8 or more hours. Frequently a customer or two or more would be gathered around him, singing with him, arm in arm. It was hard to get Curtis to stop singing; he loved blessing people so much. Sometimes I would have to get out of the van and go get his kettle to get him to stop.

Once a couple of guys were talking with Curtis when I drove up. I kept waving to him from the van that we needed to go, but he kept talking. Finally he got in the van and said that he was talking with a country music singer who wanted him to learn a song from a CD he gave him and then sing it for his wife tomorrow. We put the CD on and the song was “Ugly Christmas Sweater.” After listening to it a few times, we took the CD out and I noticed the artist was Garth Brooks.

Curtis was interviewed and sang on local TV several times. He always beamed with joy. One of his favorite songs to sing was “This Little Light of Mine.” We frequently asked him to sing it for us at The Salvation Army Berry Street Corps (church). You couldn’t fail to be uplifted by Curtis and his heart-felt singing and his joyful attitude. That’s why he almost always had more money in his kettle than anybody else.

I talked to Curtis on the phone about a month ago and we joyously laughed together like we always did. In this time of anger and insults, the world desperately needs more inspiring people like Curtis. I sure will miss him! Writing this is the only time that Curtis made me cry.

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences in non-traditional church, called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia." If you need encouragement, search for: Elephants Encouraging The Room and/or check out my Amazon author page. Thank you!
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