Lenten Series: Be Thou My Vision

No matter what our age or stage of life, stress wiggles its way into the cracks and nooks of our days. Music carries a balm for our spirit.

heart of stone

And when the melody is married to a message that reminds us that God is our vision, our focus, our “all in all.”

Though I’ve always loved this hymn, our daughter played this as one of her set of five songs to relax at the end of a day filled with school, activities, and work. She would walk in the back door, kick off her shoes, scan the frig for a nourishing—or not—leftover, glance through the mail, stack her homework on the table, say a few words, and then head to the piano.

Ellie & Ashley Spring 2009

My husband soon learned that if he wanted to listen to the ten o’clock news, he might as well go down to the basement. She would play for twenty to thirty minutes, the same favorite songs each evening, but I soon learned that the longer she played, the tougher her day had been.

The hymn, “Be Thou My Vision” was her final song. By the time she played through her repertoire, she was ready to pray these words through the music.

blue sky sunflower

Being reminded that He is the “Lord of my heart” made her find balance and focus once again.

And now, every time I hear this hymn, I think of her and pray for her needs.

What brings focus and delight to you?

Words attributed to Dallan Forgaill, 8th century

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art –
thou my best thought, by day or by night;
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord.
Thou my great Father; thine own may I be,
thou in me dwelling and I one with thee.

Riches I heed not, nor vain, empty praise;
thou mine inheritance, now and always;
thou and thou only first in my heart,
high King of heaven, my treasure thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

And here is a verse that I’d never heard before.

Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;
be thou my whole armor, be thou my true might;
be thou my soul’s shelter, be thou my strong tower:
O raise thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.


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