Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rock of Ages


The day was a beautiful sunny day, I felt good in spirit, mind and body. My little lady friend that has made the nursing home her place of residence for the past 6 years, came to mind. Though it was too cool outside to take her for a “walk” in her chair, I felt a visit would be nice to cheer her up. I love making her laugh! And she makes me laugh too!

When I arrived I was so thankful to see her very alert and smiling. In the recreation/eating room of this Nursing home, there are people of all states and levels of physical and mental disability. Every time I visit, I say a silent prayer because these people are mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, wives, sisters, aunts, cousins, etc. to people just like me. And so I pray for their peace, strength, healing….

As my little lady friend and I sit and talk among the normal noises that are in this kind of facility: loud chatter, patients calling out, one man sporadically yelling, another patient pushing her walker and a chair simultaneously as they scrape across the floor and the TV blasting (for the hearing impaired no doubt) with an old movie, I did not think they were paying any attention too. Until suddenly from the TV comes these beautiful voices singing the words to this hymn:

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and pow’r.

And just as suddenly all the “normal” calamity in this room stops and they all begin to sing along with this hymn on TV (from the old movie). It was beautiful! This old hymn was able to reach beyond the disorder and help these people, who are in all states of disability, bring to their memories the words of this song…a prayer… “Rock of Ages “God”… Cleft for me “Make room for me”…Let me hide myself in Thee.

I was so moved I began to sing along myself and was immediately in accord with them in this heartfelt silent prayer. “Make room for me too Father, I need You everyday of my life, Your protection, Your love…”

This hymn was written in 1763 by a Reverend Augustus Montague Toplady.
Traditionally it is said that he was inspired to write it while in an actual incident of being caught in a storm and having to hide in a gap in a gorge for protection. So this hymn that was inspired by a prayer still lives on today almost 250 years later.

As I sang along with and listened to the patients of this nursing home blend their voices with the voices from the TV, I knew that God could hear them, He heard every note that came from their mouths as well as their hearts and He will indeed make room for them…

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalms 18:2

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