According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Hymns Are Cool, H-mmm?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hymns Are Cool, H-mmm?

Sometimes I just long to be a better person, you know? Sunday afternoon Kathleen was playing some church hymns on the piano. She doesn’t do that very often, but when she does it can affect me deeply.

One of the hymns she played was Before the Throne of God Above, and in one place the lyrics say,

"When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see him there
Who made an end of all my sin."

Another hymn I particularly like is Just As I Am, which says,

"Just as I am, without one plea,
but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thou bidst me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come."

I get all choked up listening to hymns like those and I know that God is saying to me through them, “You want to be a better person, just do it. Abide in me and I will abide in you.”

I love good music. I used to sing a lot. I began singing in school choirs in the sixth grade. I began singing in church choirs when I was twelve. I’ve sung in community choirs. I’ve stood out on stage and soloed and my heart soared with the wonder of it all. But I have a difficult time singing lately, especially when I sing hymns like the ones I’ve just mentioned. It’s too hard not to think of the words when I’m singing, then I realize how good God has been to me and I start choking up. It’s hard to sing when your eyes want to weep floods of gratitude.

My mother had a great singing voice. I’ll never forget the day I realized that. We were in church singing a hymn when I heard this pure sweet soprano voice floating out above the congregation like some angel had just shown up. And lo and behold it turned out to be my mother! My mother was no saintly Mrs. Cleaver, sweet and smarmy and all that, but by golly she could sing. Another person in my family who can sing is one of my aunts. Hopefully, she knows who I’m talking about.

Still another person in my family who can sing is my oldest daughter. I’ve often been tempted to suggest to her that we perform a duet together at a karaoke bar so I could sing with her. She’s really good. I’m hoping my daughter (and the younger one too if they want) will sing a song at my funeral when I die. One of the above hymns would do quite well and I could float off to heaven on the wings of a beautiful song. I don’t want people to be all sad and weepy when I die (well, Sam could be), but I would like just a simple memorial service sendoff with my daughter or daughters singing goodbye to me. That would be real comforting. And maybe by that time God would have made something good out of me. Shoot, I believe in miracles.

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