This morning, after getting a call of my brother-in-law’s passing, my brain started reciting the words to John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem, Dear Lord and Father of Mankind. The words were put to music later to become the well-known hymn. I don’t know why this popped into my head. It just did. I could only remember the first verse, but then when I looked up all the verses, it seemed so appropriate in so many ways and so calming. I needed this. Time to take a deep breath, and just feel the quiet and peace.
Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways;
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.
In simple trust like theirs who heard,
Beside the Syrian sea,
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word,
Rise up and follow Thee.
O Sabbath rest by Galilee,
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
The silence of eternity,
Interpreted by love!
With that deep hush subduing all
Our words and works that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call,
As noiseless let Thy blessing fall
As fell Thy manna down.
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.
Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.
– John Greenleaf Whittier