It’s been a long time since I posted anything on my blog, but now I am holed up at home like so many others in this time of COVID19. We are lucky that now we have various types of social media that keep us connected, a luxury previous generations didn’t have. One such connection is through e-mail. I am on the e-mail list of hymn writer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, someone I featured some years ago. The news won’t stop regarding the virus, its effects on our lives, and how we respond. One such response came from Ms. Gillette in the form of a new hymn, “When We Face an Unknown Future”, using the melody “Beach Spring” (most commonly heard in “God Whose Giving Knows No Ending”). She graciously allowed me to reproduce it here.
When We Face an Unknown Future
When we face an unknown future that we can’t imagine yet,
when the closeness we have treasured turns from blessing into threat—
As we miss our friends and loved ones, as we crave community,
may we look, God, in this season, for a whole new way to be.
Jesus faced the lonely desert as a time to look within.
There he met such trial and conflict; there he knew you were with him.
In this time of separation when we miss the life we’ve known,
may we hear your voice proclaiming: “I am here! You’re not alone.”
May we cherish those around us as we never have before.
May we think much less of profit; may we learn what matters more.
May we hear our neighbors’ suffering; may we see our neighbors’ pain.
May we learn new ways of offering life and health and hope again.
God, when illness comes to threaten, and when so much here goes wrong,
may we know this thing for certain— that your love is sure and strong.
You’re beside us in our suffering— and when times are surely tough,
we may face an unknown future, but it’s filled, Lord, with your love.
BEACH SPRING 18.104.22.168 D (“God Whose Giving Knows No Ending”)
Tune: The Sacred Harp, 1844; attributed to Benjamin Franklin White