I have a ginormous hymnal that is in a 3 ring binder, designed perfectly for a piano accompanist. I got it for my 18th birthday. Yes, I was the nerdy kid ASKING for a hymnal for my birthday. I had no idea how weird I was am. And tonight, after dinner as I was singing while Aaron studied, I realized that the editors of my hymnal gently suggest the 2nd verse of Fairest Lord Jesus is not as necessary as the other three listed because it doesn’t have a star by it. Nearly every hymn has the three “most important” verses “starred” for lazy worship leaders and/or congregations. When I am playing, I purposefully sing those verses louder. And yet in this hymn, that “unnecessary” verse ends by describing Jesus as the one “who makes the woeful heart to sing”, a miracle similar to but greater than spring blooming out of the frozen death of winter. How is that not important? For me, this fall has been all about a woeful heart trying to figure out how to even want to sing again – and I’m definitely getting there. But only because He shines with all brightness and purity in the midst of our pain and darkness here.
And some of those woeful heart learning-to-sing moments have occurred in situations like this:
drinking wassail with Jaimi in Madison, Wisconsin!
of course I have no picture, but heart-to-hearts with Jenny in Minneapolis!
Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands
Robed in the blooming garb of spring:
Jesus is brighter, Jesus is purer
Who makes the woeful heart to sing!