"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

10 October 2005

En-Visioning Again

It's fall break here. This morning, K and the YM went to run errands. I fixed something to eat, stared at the book I am reviewing, read a bit in Lilith again, then pulled our hymnal off the shelf. It's been so long since I've just sung hymns, and the rare times we do so in our church it's to a new tune or with added choruses, and never all the verses, as though the writer's thought can be known and edify us in snippets or by cut and paste. So I just sang, hymn after hymn, and found myself for the first time in a very long time feeling something in worship. It was good, very good.

This particular hymn has always been a favorite, and it spoke to me strongly today, so I thought I'd share.

"Be Thou My Vision"

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Nought 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, and Thou my true Word:
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord,
Thou my great Father and I Thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

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.

"Without a vision, the people perish." May the vision be His, indeed Him, and may I learn to pursue with a whole heart. Vision and wisdom, Lord; grant me vision and wisdom.

6 comments:

Lisa (Froggyhead) said...

Amen and thank you. That's one of my favorites.

Fieldfleur said...

Beth,
The vision needs to be so attached to our mind and heart, eh? I long for that too.
Thanks for a worship insight which is inspiring.

Teri

Megan said...

This hymn has always meant a lot to me, but I hadn't heard the "battle shield" verse until Dr. Jones had us sing the hymn in Brit. Lit. I. I think it's my favorite because of the images of both battle and refuge.

Be Thou my battle shield, sword for the fight.
Be Thou my dignity and my delight
Thou my soul's refuge, Thou my strong tower
Raise Thou me heavenward, O pow'r of my pow'r.

alaiyo said...

Lisa -- welcome!

Teri, yes, mind and heart, and we are so prone to wander away . . . Good to know He is always faithful. (That's something Lilith is reminding me of.)

Megan, thanks for posting that verse -- I'd never seen it! I wonder how many other verses of how many hymns are left out of even the hymnals and our worship thus truncated bit by bit?

Blessings,

Beth

Cindy said...

Beth, on his Starkindler album, Michael Card has a wonderful rendition of this hymn (and several other beautiful old ones). It's seen me through some dark times, and still chokes me up a bit.

Barbara said...

Not so familliar with the tune, but the words are so comforting. In a world made of materialistic posessions, unrealistic expectations, it's songs like this that remind me to slow down, and be grateful.
Barbara

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