September 1, 2013 by Beth Hess
Whatever the reason, my spirit has been refreshed recently by melodies I remember from a cracked-binding book housed in the back of the crushed-padding pew. (The cushions were mustard yellow, of course.)
I admit the depth of truth in these words were mostly lost on me as a 6-, 10-, 12-year old girl. And by the teenage & college years, I had repeated them too many times to find any feeling in the familiarity.
Praise choruses took over church playlists, and I left the “old” and “boring” tunes back with the giant wooden pulpit and the silver communion trays and other elements of traditional church that I remember fondly, but only in the way you think of a sweet aunt of your mother who hosted a nice lunch but you don’t care to visit again.
But these days I am learning that in the way a Veteran appreciates our National Anthem more than the average fan in the stands, perhaps only a cracked and broken heart, a spirit scarred by sin and marked by imperfection, and a prisoner set free can feel the full balm of singing loudly about Amazing Grace and Counting Blessings and the Power in the Blood and about coming Just As I Am.
It is the sick who need a physician. For me, a refillable prescription from the Baptist Hymnal has been just what the doctor ordered.
Because many of these hymns of my childhood have prompted more grown-up reflections, I’ll be doing some blogging about it from time to time. Watch for posts tagged “Reflections on the Hymns.”