Songs of the Heart Sunday: A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief

First thing this morning the word to one of my favorite hymns kept running through my mind.

Savior, may I learn to love thee,
Walk the path that thou hast shown,
Pause to help and lift another,
Finding strength beyond my own.
Savior, may I learn to love thee-
Lord, I would follow thee.

Who am I to judge another
When I walk imperfectly?
In the quiet heart is hidden
Sorrow that the eye can’t see.
Who am I to judge another?
Lord, I would follow thee.

I would be my brother’s keeper;
I would learn the healer’s art.
To the wounded and the weary
I would show a gentle heart.
I would be my brother’s keeper-
Lord, I would follow thee.

Savior, may I love my brother
As I know thou lovest me,
Find in thee my strength, my beacon,
For thy servant I would be.
Savior, may I love my brother-
Lord, I would follow thee.

I had decided to write my whole Sunday post about this song. It teaches so much about service and who our brothers and sisters are.

Then at church today we sang another favorite, but we generally only sing the first three verses, the chorister today was prompted to sing all seven verses. At the conclusion of the song, there was not a dry eye in the room, or one that I could see through my tears.

As I have thought about the two songs together, realize that the theme is serving one another, and not knowing what is hidden that the eyes cannot see. The song touched everyone in a different way, for different reasons.

A poor wayfaring Man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
Who sued so humbly for relief
That I could never answer nay.
I had not power to ask his name,
Whereto he went, or whence he came;
Yet there was something in his eye
That won my love; I knew not why.

Once, when my scanty meal was spread,
He entered; not a word he spake,
Just perishing for want of bread.
I gave him all; he blessed it, brake,
And ate, but gave me part again.
Mine was an angel’s portion then,
For while I fed with eager haste,
The crust was manna to my taste.

I spied him where a fountain burst
Clear from the rock; his strength was gone.
The heedless water mocked his thirst;
He heard it, saw it hurrying on.
I ran and raised the suff’rer up;
Thrice from the stream he drained my cup,
Dipped and returned it running o’er;
I drank and never thirsted more.

’Twas night; the floods were out; it blew
A winter hurricane aloof.
I heard his voice abroad and flew
To bid him welcome to my roof.
I warmed and clothed and cheered my guest
And laid him on my couch to rest;
Then made the earth my bed, and seemed
In Eden’s garden while I dreamed.

Stripped, wounded, beaten nigh to death,
I found him by the highway side.
I roused his pulse, brought back his breath,
Revived his spirit, and supplied
Wine, oil, refreshment—he was healed.
I had myself a wound concealed,
But from that hour forgot the smart,
And peace bound up my broken heart.

In pris’n I saw him next, condemned
To meet a traitor’s doom at morn.
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed,
And honored him ’mid shame and scorn.
My friendship’s utmost zeal to try,
He asked if I for him would die.
The flesh was weak; my blood ran chill,
But my free spirit cried, “I will!”

Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in His hands I knew;
The Savior stood before mine eyes.
He spake, and my poor name He named,
“Of Me thou hast not been ashamed.
These deeds shall thy memorial be;
Fear not, thou didst them unto Me.”

Through out the song I pictured several people, but during the prison scene in my mind I saw one person. “Him”. As I sang the words, “He asked if I for him would die”. I knew the answer. I sobbed as I sang the words that echoed my own reply to “him”. I would and I knew I would. As terrified as I get when I see him, I do not want anything bad to happen to him.

My Mother was one of the speakers. She was sitting on the stand, I in the congregation and we locked eyes, I sobbed. I did not know what my face registered. I know when “he” usually comes into my mind or my PTSD kicks in Little Hope is evident on my face. I did not feel that so much, it was just the realization within myself that I would die for this friend. Then singing the next verse, was very overwhelming.

After Church and a visit to see my aunt, when we were about to turn into our drive we saw “him”. I was already holding my husband’s hand. I squeezed it tightly afraid to let go. My breathing increased. The words to that verse started going through my head over and over and over again. When I would allow myself to move on to the next verse I calmed down enough to get out of the car.

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About Hope

I am forty year old survivor and a five year old victim of sexual abuse. I live with severe depression and anxiety, and in 2013 was diagnosed with DID and PTSD. My journey is to reintegrate my alter and the adult me into a whole person, healthy person, and one that can empathize with others.

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