When I was a student, living in a tiny room in the halls of residence at Grizedale College, I had an index card tacked to the side of my wardrobe, in a place where I could see it whenever I sat at my desk. I was so attached to that index card that I would take it home in the holidays and tack it where I could read it when I woke. I had a deep longing to find real peace. It was a longing to find the peace that I was convinced my faith in Christ afforded me, yet in truth it alluded me most of the time.
The card read,
Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.
These lines are from the famous hymn, Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, written by the Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier. They are usually sung to the tune ‘Repton’ by Parry, best known for the music of the hymn Jerusalem.
I battled with the words as Jacob battled with the angel; I will not let you go unless you bless me.
To confess a faith of peace and joy, without ever knowing it for sure is a very tiring business.
So let us never give up …
I was so please to find this beautiful rendition from Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy.