These days I usually walk right to the front of the church sanctuary before plopping my lazy Sunday behind and get comfortable on a chair before the start of the church service. Sitting right in front is not something I normally would do but I figured that in the present church which I attend in Melbourne (CrossCulture Church of Christ) it’s about the only way I can get some ‘alone’ time as people walk in and out ALL the time and it’s really hard to concentrate if you are seated anywhere else. There are times I felt like standing up and bellow out loud: “Will you people just blardy come on time and sit down!!!!!!” but that would be very un-Christian.
Anyway, this morning, as I was about to sit down, I happened to glance upon the song sheets of the worship team lying on the chair in front of mine (I usually sit on the 2nd row because the first row is usually occupied by the worship team) and my eyes fell upon the lyrics of this song:
And immediately I went, “Oh God!, No! I’m gonna cry again in church!”. And almost immediately, I steeled myself and said, “You are NOT going to cry today, it’s embarrassing for a 40-something guy to weep in public!”
The song was sung at the closing of the service. I sang with gusto (it’s one of those hymns that I could sing from memory). I made it through the first 2 stanzas of the lyrics below with a strong voice and dry eyes:
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art;
Thou my best thought by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my wisdom, thou my true word,
I ever with thee and thou with me Lord;
Thou my great Father, I thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.
Be thou my battle shield, sword for the fight;
Be thou my dignity, thou my delight;
Thou my soul’s shelter, thou my high tower:
Raise thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise:
Thou mine inheritance now and always;
Thou and thou only first in my heart;
High King of Heaven, my treasure thou art.
High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O Bright Heaven’s sun!;
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
By the 3rd stanza, my voice began to falter.
By the 4th stanza, I was merely mouthing the words.
And before the song ended, there I was, all resolve abandoned, weeping afresh all over again as I felt the love of the Father enveloping me.
This song NEVER fails to bring me to tears.