Saturday, November 14, 2009

A hymn

I write weekly letters to my teenage granddaughter. She is a survivor. As with nearly all teenagers she can use emotional support of her family. Sometimes I share here parts of what I write to her. Here is one from this week, modified slightly to read here.

On another topic, we sang a really good hymn in church last Sunday. It was one that resonated with me and my soul. When I returned home I checked in my prayer book to see if I had a copy of that hymn. In the front of my prayer book at home I keep a few extra papers. They are mostly copies of hymns that speak deeply to me. They are hymns that I have trouble singing without choking up with emotion. Perhaps at my funeral someone will look at them and perhaps sing one or more of them.
I want to share this one with you. I think that it “reads” better when set to music, but I can’t do that in this letter so you get just the lyrics and not the music.
These are the treasures to strive for and prize: be gentle, live simply and have the humility to shy from the struggle to put oneself first, these are the pearls.
If mercy’s abandoned by those who’d be brave, economy squandered by those who’d be generous, humility slighted by those who would lead, this is sure death.
Be gentle and you can afford to be bold, be frugal and so have enough to be liberal, be humble and thus be a leader of all, this is the way.
Through gentleness those who attack win the fight, and those who defend have their safety in gentleness; this gentleness rests in the children of God, this is their sign.

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