We sang this song on Sunday. The words have always moved me; poetic, prophetic.
As we embark on a new year, a new decade, it seems appropriate to end the year with these words: Be Thou my Vision. For I believe that God alone knows our tomorrows, and I am grateful God goes before us.
Be Thou My Vision, O Lord of my Heart. . . I looked up the origins of this song today and this is what I discovered it is an old Irish hymn. Rop tú mo baile or Rob tú mo bhoile is a traditional Christian hymn of Irish origin. The words are based on a Middle Irish poem often attributed to the sixth-century Irish Christian poet St. Dallán Forgaill, although it is probably later than that. (Wikipedia)
As we say good-bye to another year completed, another decade; we look back. I’m drawn to the Ignatian way of prayer, of consolation and desolation. For there are things I’m deeply sad about, and continue to be. I bring my desolation to God. One of the hardest is the polarization I see, not just in my family circle, but in churches, in communities. We’ve forgotten how to truly listen to one another, to love unconditionally. I am sad for those who suffer. I am sad for those who grieve. I am sad for those who feel marginalized.
I write about it often, but we live in a broken world. We live with the consequences of a broken world. Disease, family break-ups, tragedies, climate change, (and I’m quite aware not everyone is on the same page there either). But I think we can agree – we live in a broken world.
The consolation is that God is here, with us. The love of our creator is ever present in the beauty we see around us, the ever-changing skies, the promise of spring, the glorious creation. I see God’s love in people around me who demonstrate this every day.
One of the joys I’ve had is to capture pictures this year and create prayerful images that draw us to prayer. More than ever, I’m assured of God’s presence in the midst of our mess, of God’s love which is for all.
So my prayer for 2020 is “Be Thou my Vision”. I realize that there are all kinds of word plays on 20/20 vision, but it seems to fit. The truth is we don’t see into the future, but the One who created us knows the future. We can’t comprehend the timelessness of God, who is eternal, who knows our tomorrows.
And this Creator God assures us in love that we need not be afraid, for God the Father is with us. Jesus, our Emmanuel is with us. The Holy Spirit dwells within us.
We can face the future with hope. I put my hand in God’s, knowing He sees all, and so precious this thought: God sees us. We are loved beyond imagination.
Here is the English Version of the old Irish Hymn, translated and edited by Eleanor Hull in 1912.
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, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tow’r:
Raise Thou me heav’nward, O Pow’r of my pow’r.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s 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 Heav’n’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.