Recently a friend of mine quoted a hymn text that I didn’t recognize in a funeral talk:
Do thou, O Lord, anoint mine eyes
That I may see and win the prize.
My heart is full; mine eyes are wet.
Oh, help me, Lord, lest I forget.
So may my soul be filled with light
That I may see and win the fight,
And then at last exalted be,
In peace and rest, O Lord, with thee.
That’s lovely, I thought to myself. I wonder why I don’t recognize it. And then I saw the hymn title and realized why. It was #158, “Before The Lord, I Bow My Head.” Heartfelt apologies upfront if this is one of your favorites, but without any personal associations to endear it to me, it’s languished on my list of less-liked hymns. That repetitive bass line. I just can’t figure out how to love it.
But seeing my friend’s words shook me a little from my apathetic feelings about this hymn, because the text is quite contemplative and pretty. It’s unfortunate that I let my feelings about the music deter me from recognizing the beauty of the words.
This experience has sent me on a bit of a quest to find hymns, both music and text, that I’ve yet to fully appreciate. Tell me some of your favorites that are rarely sung.
And as fun as it might be to list unfavorites, I’d rather we not go there (even though I did–sorry!).