I came across this quote today, and it reminded me of a blog I did some years ago now on my personal blog back before everybody Facebooked everything; so I went a dug it up and thought I’d repost it here.
But first, here’s the quote:
We must continue to teach the hymns to our children because one day they will grow up and grow into understanding the hymns’ deeper meaning, and that deeper meaning will speak a needed message during a dark hour.Dr. Debra White Smith, The Wesleyan Woman
I don’t know anything about the author of this quote – it was just something I happened upon, but it has meaning to me because I’ve found it to be true. The things we learn as children, although we may not understand it at the time, whether songs, or scriptures, have a way of coming back to us in the moments when we most need to hear them.
Let me explain:
I love music.
I know, big revelation – that should be pretty obvious to anyone who knows me – I mean, after all, music is what we DO! My husband and I have been singing together pretty much since the day we met, we’ve been music ministers and song evangelists, and our CD collection pretty much would take over the house if we let it. It’s not just a ‘LIKE’, it’s pretty much our LIFE.
But more than what we do, music SPEAKS to me.
Often throughout my life, if I was sad, you could find me playing slow quiet songs at the piano; if I was happy, the songs might take a more upbeat tone; if I was angry, the ‘music’ might be a lot more banging and crashing and runs and scales. As the years have passed and life got busier, those times spent at the piano playing out my emotions have mostly taken a back burner, but in the sad times, the songs of encouragement still play in my mind, during the happy times, you may find me singing some old song loudly and with great gusto, and when my kids are being especially trying, I may or may not have been known to sing a rousing round of,
“If you ever needed the LAWD befo’, you SHO do need Him now!”.
Songs, lyrics and music are a form of communication for me.
It’s been a big part of my life from the time I was very small. Growing up, we had music playing in our house most of the time. My mother plays the piano, all of my siblings play instruments; by the time I left home we had not one, not two, but THREE pianos in our house. One was an upright grand that my mom has had for eons (it was so big and heavy my dad had to brace the floor in some of their homes to hold it- but boy did it have some resonance to it!), then when I was probably 8-10 they bought another smaller spinet-type upright for my sister to practice on, and when I was in my teens Dad rescued one from a college fraternity home that he was remodeling – a baby grand that had been trashed by the guys. They had it rebuilt and have it (and the others!) to this day. Many times Mom and I would each take a piano and play together.
It wasn’t just the instrumental music – we sang everything! It wasn’t uncommon for us to ask each other questions in song – or to make up new (and often odd) words to an old song. On our 45+ minute trip to church three times a week, we’d take an old hymnal and sing the songs – if we didn’t know them we’d learn them!
Music was a way of life for us.
But there was one thing I never understood…
As much as we sang, played, made a joyful noises, etc. it always slightly puzzled me when Mom would start singing old hymns out of the blue. She’d be minding her own business, maybe working around the house or in the garden, and you’d hear her start humming; after a while, you start to hear snippets of words coming through, then she’d break out in, “This is my Stoooory, this is my song! Praising my Saviour all the day long!”
That song just didn’t make much sense to me. What was the story?! WHY was she singing about ‘praising the Saviour all the day long’?!
I wasn’t exactly a heathen, folks. I grew up in church – at LEAST three times a week, every night during revival – if the doors were open, our family was THERE. I knew the songs, I knew the stories. But that song still didn’t make sense. It mostly aggravated me when she’d sing the lyrics wrong – maybe part of the third verse when she was singing the second verse, that sort of thing. But it didn’t matter to her whether she sang it in the right order or not – she was just singing the words that meant something to her right then.
Time passed. I grew up, and started a family of my own.
And then, one day, I found myself singing:
“Blessed Assurance – Jesus is mine!
Oh, what foretaste of Glory Divine!
I’m an heir of Salvation, purchase of Blood
Born of the Spirit, washed in His blood!”
And I realized something… I understood now – this IS my story! Jesus IS mine! And because I’m an heir of Salvation I can praise my Saviour all the day long! I, who once longed for peace to come in all the jumbled chaos of my heart can sing it – and mean it –
“Perfect Submission, All is at rest!
I, in my Saviour, am happy and blest!”
Life’s not always easy – we’ve had our share of very big problems. But God has been gracious and merciful – and a very present help in time of trouble! Even in the trials I’m still blessed – and happy in my Saviour; even though I don’t always understand how He’s working, and I can’t see exactly what He’s doing, I know that He’s working for my good.
And every once in a while, I’ll be going along, minding my own business, maybe doing housework, maybe not, and I’ll find myself breaking out in a rousing chorus of,
“This is my Stoooory, This is my Sooooong!
Praising my Saviour all the day long!”
And my kids look at me like I just sprouted whiskers and a tail and say,
“Mom, could you stop singing – you’re being too loud!”
And I just tell them, “Nope, can’t do it!”
Lord willing – They’ll understand one day.