Monday, October 19, 2015

146. Disability Hymn

This hymn is in memory of my dear sister in Christ, Alexis Wernsing, who died recently after a 40-year lifetime in which she bore physical disability with amazing cheerfulness and strong faith. I've had the sniffles the last few days, but at times when I catch myself complaining about it I am struck by the thought of the constant pain and weakness Alexis lived with every day of her life, when doing things I can do without a thought required total effort on her part. Her death is a sharp loss to the small congregation I belong to, but her freedom from the disability she experienced in this life, together with her inheritance in heaven, is a great gain to her. For the tune, I am going with DEDICATION, which I wrote in 1993 for another hymn.
Behold! The weak and the afflicted
Look to You, almighty Lord,
Trusting in Your healing word,
Wherein Your mercy is depicted
In the person of Your Son,
For all flesh the Stricken One.

Look down, O Lord, upon our blindness!
Shine into our haze and night
With the gospel’s healing light!
Our eyes of faith fix on Your kindness,
Waiting for the day we see
All as it was meant to be!

Give ear, O Lord, unto our crying!
Let Your voice our deaf ears reach;
Loose our tongues for faithful speech!
Keep us upon Your word relying,
Till we hear the signaled rout
And reply with ready shout!

Make haste, O Lord, to banish Satan,
Who delights in withered limb,
Failing organ, sullied skin!
The broken heal; the crooked straighten,
That when we have run our race
We may stand before Your face!

Help us to run and not grow weary,
Even should our road require
Double tolls and trouble dire!
Show us, when all seems vain and dreary,
Bracing gifts You left in store
When You passed this way before!

With Your pierced, risen body feed us,
And with Your shed blood refresh
Both our soul and feeble flesh!
At last to perfect wholeness lead us,
Raising us from peaceful rest,
In Your splendid image dressed!

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