How can I keep from singing?

On Sunday in Adult Christian Formation, one of our responses to the Scripture we read was to write a love letter to God.

I began my letter of love with words describing an image from the night just days short of eleven months ago when flood waters poured into my home.

A man I’d never met before and a man I consider a trusted friend kayaked, then walked, through the murky thigh high waters to rescue my best friend and me.  As I sat safely in the kayak, being rowed to dry land by a man I didn’t know, holding a zip lock bag with all the possessions that I knew for certain would make it to safety,  I was full of peace that passed any understanding.

Floating on the quiet waters that filled my street, the night lit only by street lamps that were somehow miraculously still working, the stillness and the silence except for the sound of the oars, was a defining moment of God’s love.

The days and weeks and now months that have passed have been the most challenging of my life.  My life as rector of  a parish with its own day to day joys, tasks, sorrows, and conflicts continued amidst the gutting and and throwing out and restoring and hauling as I redefined home. Grief, anger, joy, laughter, exhaustion, chaos, rest, and peace have measured my days.  As I look back, now I begin to see God’s love in each and every moment.

This morning’s Lenten devotional quoted a familiar hymn, How Can I Keep from Singing.

My life flows on in endless song;
above earth’s lamentation,
I catch the sweet, though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation.

Refrain:  No storm can shake my inmost calm
while to that Rock I’m clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
how can I keep from singing?

As I did my morning prayer walk this first Tuesday in Lent, still in my temporary home, there was a visible sunrise for the first time in days.  Completing the walk, I looked back on the way that I had traveled this morning.  I noticed that the gravel path was full of puddles from the last few day’s rain–little pools of flood waters.  The spring green of new growth framed the road.  All the morning birds were singing their hearts out.  At the end of the path was a gentle, beautiful sunrise.

Another love letter to God.

How can I keep from singing?

Through all the tumult and the strife,
I hear that music ringing.
It finds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing? 

Refrain:  No storm can shake my inmost calm
while to that Rock I’m clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
how can I keep from singing?

What though my joys and comforts die?
I know my Savior liveth.
What though the darkness gather round?
Songs in the night he giveth. 

The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
a fountain ever springing!
All things are mine since I am his!
How can I keep from singing? 

Refrain:  No storm can shake my inmost calm
while to that Rock I’m clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
how can I keep from singing?

One thought on “How can I keep from singing?

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