What’s Happening Wednesday: Humming the Hymns

I have two nervous habits. When I am anxious, I either sing/hum, or I start playing with my hair. Both habits annoy other people, but I find them comforting.

Last night, around 11:00pm, I sat at my grandmother’s piano and I began to sing. I kind of inherited the piano by accident. When my grandmother passed away, I was the grandchild who lived the closest, so as they were cleaning out her apartment, they asked me if I had room to store it. I didn’t. But I put it in my garage for safekeeping. That was 7 years ago. The piano is dusty now, and desperately needs to be tuned, but every now and then, I sit in my garage and play around on the keys.

I am neither a musician, nor a singer. But I don’t let that stop me. So late last night, I plucked out a few notes of the first hymn I ever learned on the piano. “Holy, Holy, Holy” I don’t remember singing the song in church very often, but I knew it because it was in the hymnal.

If you are a church kid of a certain age, you remember hymnals. Before our churches had PowerPoint systems and praise and worship teams, we sang congregational hymns. There was a hymn book and a Bible in the back of every pew.

As a church kid, when I got bored, I’d read the words to hymns when I got bored… and I got bored often. That’s why I know all four verses of “Amazing Grace.” It’s also why I couldn’t stop singing the third verse of “Holy, Holy, Holy” last night.

Holy, holy, holy!
Though the darkness hide thee
Though the eye of sinful man
Thy glory may not see
Only Thou art holy
There is none beside Thee
Perfect in power, in love and purity.

When I am overwhelmed or distraught, when the world seems darker than it was the day before, I remember that there is a pure and perfect God. Maybe I can’t see Him, but I believe He sees me, and that alone makes me feel better.

Mama Radford

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