• so I shall sing

    by  • August 2, 2015 • family, grief, hope, music • 19 Comments

    My father and I shared a love of hymns.

    Scan 8Actually, it would probably be truer to say I learned to love hymns in large part because of my father. Though he rarely sang outside of the house, he loved the songs of faith. One of his favorites in his later years was Gloria Gaither’s “I Then Shall Live,” which was written to the tune Finlandia. The tune is also a favorite of mine, but to other lyrics: first, “Be Still My Soul” and then “This is My Song.”

    August 3 marks the second anniversary of my dad’s death. Today in church I began scribbling lyrics of my own to the tune and I finished them tonight. Here is my offering with gratitude for my father and how he taught me to love songs that speak to my heart.

    so I shall sing

    so I shall sing
    although my heart is broken
    a song of hope
    informed by grief and pain
    a song of love
    that knows the path of losses
    a song of joy
    though sadness still remains
    so I shall sing
    this song as old as mountains
    with all my heart
    I’ll join the deep refrain

    grief’s melody
    has colored all creation
    yet there is love
    that lasts beyond the grave
    both things are true
    the hope and, yes, the heartache
    their harmony
    the music of our days
    so I shall sing
    and pray my heart stays open
    to loss and love
    and grace that can amaze



    Blogging since December 2005


    19 Responses to so I shall sing

    1. Leah King
      August 2, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      Milton, thank you. I shall print these and put them in my hymnal.

    2. August 2, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      Beautiful sentiment, Milton, and beautiful lyrics. Thank you for sharing, and comfort in your grief.

    3. August 2, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      Beautiful words Milton.

    4. Charles Smith
      August 2, 2015 at 10:44 pm

      My sentiments exactly, fellow struggler. I wondered today how you were doing. Glad to know that the scribbling pen continues to bring life to the ebbs and flows of even grief and loss. Love you. Hope to chat soon.

    5. Ann Hammon
      August 2, 2015 at 11:07 pm

      Thanks, through tears.

    6. Nancy Tarbox Wilson
      August 3, 2015 at 9:10 am

      Just LOVEly, Milton. Thank you.

    7. louise estes
      August 3, 2015 at 9:12 am

      stunning, the greatest joy and greatest pain brought so comfortingly together. inspired, indeed.

    8. Jean Martin
      August 3, 2015 at 9:23 am

      Your song, the words incredibly beautiful and true. Thank you for sharing them.

    9. Steve Flower
      August 3, 2015 at 9:25 am

      Milton, these lyrics are beautiful – a wonderful tribute to your dad, and a gift to many who struggle with grief and loss. You prove, once again, my understanding of my Higher Power as Cosmic Composter – taking all that is ugly, painful and evil and, with the Wind, Water, and Sunlight of the Spirit, composting and converting the “yuck” of life into fresh and vibrant loam in which new life can grow. Out of your loss and pain, beauty and comfort. Can’t get much better than that, eh? May your dad’s memories swirl around you and comfort you, like a constant cool breeze on a hot summer day.

    10. David Young
      August 3, 2015 at 10:24 am

      This must be published. It’s right up there with “It is Well” and “Oh Love that will not let me go”.

      • lisa knaggs
        August 3, 2015 at 2:24 pm

        I AGREE!!!!! Two of my favorites that always bring deep comfort!

    11. Deb Ruotolo
      August 3, 2015 at 11:05 am

      Thank you Milton. I too love the old hymns. My mother was the church organist – I sat in a small chair next to the organ for many years four services a week. “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long …” May our Savior’s comfort run deep in your places of grief this day.

    12. August 3, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      Lovely, lovely. Permission to sing it at a funeral later this week?

      • cthomson
        August 3, 2015 at 12:45 pm

        Of course, Jodi.

    13. lisa knaggs
      August 3, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      weeping, thank you…

    14. August 3, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      Beautifully accomplished. Finlandia for the Ages. Love it.

    15. Julie Peeples
      August 3, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      So, so beautiful Milton. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    16. Suzanne Cate
      August 4, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Ah, Milton! So beautiful! I think I will follow Leah’s lead and put it in my hymnal! Thank you and your dad who was and us your muse.

    17. Julianne
      August 10, 2015 at 8:32 am

      Simple, direct, faithful, and true. A beautiful new old hymn, Milton. Thank you.

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