Hymns of Comfort and StrengthNew Every Morning | May 10, 2023
Music got me through the loneliest time of my life when I was a young wife and mother. My husband, Larry, was assigned to a U.S. Air Force base in Japan, so we left behind family and friends and moved across the Pacific Ocean with our firstborn, Butch, who was just a toddler. For the first four months we lived in a few tiny rooms in a Quonset hut.
But nothing prepared me for the isolation I’d feel as the only black woman on base in a foreign country. On days when the loneliness became almost unbearable, I would go to the base chapel, which was open twenty-four hours a day. I’d slip inside the empty chapel, go straight to the piano, and begin to play hymns and sing. By the time I left an hour or so later, I felt revived. I have often wondered what I would have done without the hymns and scripture to comfort me then and countless other times.
—Lucimarian Roberts, My Story, My Song: Mother-Daughter Reflections on Life and Faith (Upper Room Books, 2012)
How have songs and scriptures helped you through times of loneliness? Join the conversation.
Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his suffering ones.
—Isaiah 49:13 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Dear God, this week we thank you for mothers and other people who have shown us the value of faith and singing songs of praise to you. Help us to pass on the lessons they have taught us and to demonstrate grace toward others. Amen.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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I had a playlist on my phone of Christa Wells songs which were my constant companion in the car, in my office at school and in the middle of the night during the worst of mom’s struggle. And the Psalms – my go to for pretty much anything. I love them, I love the honesty, I love the worship in the midst of emotional honesty.
Yesterday was jam packed…had a drug test for my hospice volunteering first thing in the morning. Then a follow up with my specialist. The injection from 6 weeks ago has not made a difference. He informed me the next step is surgery. I told him tennis season started Monday night – and I am ready to play tennis and golf and enjoy my summer. He said to call him when summer was over and we would talk surgery then. He said there is a chance that it could still heal itself, but there is also a chance that it will tear. A risk I am willing to take at this point. Weather is good and I want to be active.
Dinner last night with my tennis friend. We hit a couple of garden centers looking for big planter/urns. She didn’t find any to her liking. The two significant wind storms of the spring caused her two to blow over and crack.
Hitting some tennis balls after school with a colleague – at a court vey near the school. It is beautifully sunshiny out with very comfortable temps. Hopefully will not over do it. Hoping to be in the lineups for my teams next Monday and Wednesday evenings.
As a musician, music is my go-to when I’m sad, restless, lonely, or scared. It is how I express joy. Reading the Psalms calls my heart. Romans 8:26 reminds me that when I can’t pray, Holy Spirit intercedes on my behalf. Like Lucimarion, singing and playing hymns are a comfort and help me feel close to the Lord.
Today’s UR entry reminded me that looking and dwelling on the past are keeping me from moving forward.