Friday, May 23, 2008

Safe Am I

All yesterday I had an old hymn running around in my head. "Safe am I, safe am I, in the hollow of his hand. Sheltered ore, sheltered ore, with his love forever more." I remembered it as someone's favorite hymn, but I couldn't recall who it was or when I learned it. I traveled to my mother's house yesterday evening, and I asked her about it. We began singing it together. She did not at first remember, but then we pieced it together. I must have been three or four when I learned it and it was Mrs. Rutherford's favorite. She was our next door neighbor and Sunday School teacher. She's been gone for years now. I don't know why it came to me yesterday.

Today I sat with my second oldest daughter while her boyfriend had surgery. All went well, and he's now home recovering but they were both very anxious and worried. They had never been through anything like that together before. "Safe am I" kept going through my head today, as I tried to remember singing this song so many years ago. Last night I dug through old hymnals and music books at my Mom's. We never found it in a hymnal, but did find the simple orchestrations that my siblings must have played. A long thread of memory brought forth through to a present moment, and for what?

God has a peculiar way of reminding us of the promise of fidelity and constancy. Something in my being, something in my constitution wants me to remember right now that God's love has been evident in my life for a long time. And people who loved me taught me well. I might not always be strong in faith at every moment, but the faith that was planted in me has deep, deep roots and is held up by ancient psalms and promises. God's abiding love. God's faithfulness in the smallest of people and the smallest of times (as well as in the most momentous).

Tonight, as I am finally home from my travels for today, I am reminded that each of us can ignite or extinguish the light we have been given. May God give us all the strength to reach deep down to the strong, loving roots that we have been grounded in, and share that light and love with the world. We are all called to remember the old songs, and sing them in new times, for there are many who have never heard them and many more who need some constancy and shoring up right now.

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