Monday, July 8, 2013

"Earth has no sorrow that heav'n cannot heal."

Hardly anyone sings this hymn anymore in worship. I suppose it is too much of a downer. It will not allow us to escape the depths to which it moves us – we who are beyond consoling. That’s too bad, because on my disconsolate days, this hymn-line is one to which I turn because it is as true as any scripture I might seek out.

The dictionary definition of sorrow is: a feeling of deep distress caused by loss, disappointment, or other misfortune suffered by oneself or others.

There are times when I experience this kind of sorrow. I won’t make a list here, but you probably just made a mental list of your own. You may have even been overwhelmed by some sorrow during the last few days… maybe even the past few minutes.

Interestingly, one of the synonyms for sorrow is regret. Hmmm. Now, isn’t that interesting. I think I’ve always tied this text to those earthly disappointments offered in that dictionary definition. But if I understand that there are no regrets – nothing from my past, however sinful it may have been or may seem to me – no regrets that heaven cannot heal. Oh, my! Isn’t that freeing?!

The other stanzas end with similar phrases: Earth has no sorrow that heav’n cannot cure, and Earth has no sorrow but heav’n can remove. This is powerful stuff we’re dealing with here, folks. If these phrases are true – and I believe they are – then we should have a better attitude about our life after having meditated on these hymn-lines!

If the great God of heaven can heal, cure and remove my sorrows – even my regrets – then should I not be ecstatic in my appreciation… in my thanksgiving.

Most of us have trouble accepting forgiveness – from other humans and/or from God himself. But let’s do a better job of being receptive of the healing, curing removal of our transgressional sorrows.

I hate it when I’m in the middle of something which is a crisis for me, and someone says, “Oh, just get over it.” It is an un-kind statement… and probably an un-Christ-like response. Instead of getting over it, perhaps we need to give it over – give it over to heaven and the One who sits upon the throne thereof!

RSVP: Regrets Only No Regrets
Sung by Cynthia Clawson Specifically for This Blog

Hymn: “Come, Ye Disconsolate” – Thomas Moore (1779-1852)

P.S. – I hope you don’t find the Vincent Van Gogh “Sorrow” offensive. Like much great art, it conveys the essence of the condition for which it is named. I’m pretty sure only adults are reading my blog, so I shouldn’t have to apologize; but with years of local-church ministry behind me, I’m still afraid that I’ll regret having done it!

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Hymnlines - Hemlines: Get it?! :)

Hymnlines - Hemlines: Get it?! :)