Friday, March 1, 2013

Songs in English, and saying Goodbye

Last month, I decided to start learning hymns again. Unfortunately, this resolution often goes the same way of "I think I'll read start reading through the whole Bible again." Short-lived. (However, just typing this up makes me want me to do both. Accountability!)

This recent hymn endeavor was partly inspired by wanting to sing to the baby. I realized that most of the worship songs in my current repertoire are in Russian, so I thought it would be good to go back to my "roots" and relearn some songs in English so that David could hear some worship songs in his mother's first language. (The irony is that the English in hymns is almost like a separate dialect! But still, good to know)

Well, I've only memorized 2 hymns so far in 2013, and started another.

But the very first one I picked became quite significant.

When I realized that I needed 40-something hymns, I decided to poll my friends for ideas. And they responded, with old classics I was familiar with as well as ones I needed to look up.

The first person to respond had been 2 years behind me in my high school youth group. When he suggested "Be Thou My Vision," I was taken back to the youth group years, to those retreats when we used to sing our hearts out, and maybe even buy the worship band's cassette (!) and return home and keep singing those songs. And on a Sunday night meeting we might sing them, too. And then a few (or 10) years later, some of us would get married and maybe use those songs in our weddings, or teach them to our own kids...

So I decided that it would be a good song to start with. And I sang all the verses to David for several days in a row, as I rocked him to sleep.

One morning just recently, I woke up to hear that the very friend who had suggested "Be Thou My Vision" had suddenly become very ill. He had a cold...a cough...he spiked a fever...and then it turned into a very bad case of pneumonia. I scrolled down his page, wondering if there had been any warning signs, any complaints about having the sniffles. Nope. Just the usual groan-worthy jokes and professions of love toward bacon. Plus an amazing photo of him with his beloved residents at a home for the elderly.

Less than a week later, he was gone. My heart mourns for a childhood friend. A young woman from our youth group also passed away a year or two ago due to illness, and I will always remember both of these friends as they were in their youth. Full of light and love, seeking to serve the Lord.

And that was my first hymn of 2013. A memory and a farewell.


  1. Such a sad thing when people die too young.

    It is sweet that you sing hymns to David. I wish I could sing some Russian hymns to Monnie.

  2. I wish you could, too! How about playing a recording?

  3. Do you think you could find a link? I have some folk songs, but no religious songs at all.

  4. It's amazing how many people agree with you here. Nice writing style.

    Please reading to continue:- pendujatt


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