Tonight’s Hymn

I have very decided views and opinions about contemporary Christian music and Gospel songs versus the old hymns that have stood the test of generations. Music is an emotional issue with all of us, and among other things, we are influenced by memories attached to music.
I have a lot of memories of CCM and Gospel music, but nothing feeds me and communicates as deeply with me as the old, rich words of the hymns.
This evening I came to one of my favorites:

The day Thou gavest, Lord, has ended:
The darkness falls at Thy behest;
To Thee our morning hymns ascended;
Thy praise shall sanctify our rest.

(My favourite verse, as I live on an island)
As o’er each continent and island
The dawn leads on another day,
The voice of prayer is never silent
Nor dies the strain of praise away.

The sun that bids us rest is waking
Our brethren ‘neath the western sky,
And hour by hour fresh lips are making
Thy wondrous doings heard on high.

So be it, Lord: Thy throne shall never,
Like earth’s proud empires, pass away;
Thy kingdom stands, and grows forever
Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.
–John Ellerton

The first time I heard this was when the nuns sang it at Vespers once when we visited the convent at Mount Melloray. The flowing tune captivated me and then I found the words equally beautiful. It’s like a hymn and lullaby simultaneously.

Where is Home?

Thirteen years ago this eve. we were at friends’ house for dinner–friends I’d never met before. They live beside the sea, and were ever so gracious, and afterwards all of us went to their upstairs room for prayer meeting, and I cried during the prayer.

It was my first day in Ireland, and everything was green and moist and foreign. Now it’s 13 years later, and this is home.

I’ve lived here longer than I’ve lived at any other place, so maybe that’s why it feels like home. But I’m still a foreigner. As soon as I say a word, my accent gives me away, and people know I wasn’t born in Waterford but am a ‘blow-in.’ And when I go back to the US, it’s always most enjoyable and happy, but I feel like a foreigner there too. I forget the American terms for ‘tar macadam’ and ‘foot path.’ And when I want to drive somewhere, I tend to head toward the wrong side of the car.

So I really am not home yet. Because next week I plan to move into another house, but even that won’t be Home, Home.

Even after 13 yrs in Ireland, I’m Homesick tonight.