Ash Wednesday we reflected a bit on the history of “Just as I Am.” (The backstories of all the Songs of the Soul for Lent will be compiled and available for those who want them at the end of Lent). As I was reading about the recent tornadoes in the Southern US the lyrics of “Just as I Am” spoke to me.
Eastern Alabama – Western Georgia Tornadoes
At least 23 dead
At least 800 people homeless…not as in their homes were damaged…
as in they came home to their homes completely gone
Deceased range from age 6 to age 89
“She was the air in my lungs,” father of a 10 year old girl who died.
“Heaven got the sweetest little boy.” “I love you, A.J., for making me smile when I was with you,” mom of a son who died.
“He was my wedding gift. He’d send me flowers at work just to let me know he loved me,” wife of deceased husband.
“She loved dancing. Believe it or not she was dancing on her ultrasound.”
“She was loved by many and she loved in return,” parent of an 8 year old.
“In three days we won’t be the headline of the news cycle. Please don’t forget us—in three days, in three weeks, in three months. It will take years for many of the survivors to have a home again,” First Baptist Pastor
We are vulnerable, fragile, creatures on this sometimes harsh and unpredictable planet. Add in, diseases, poverty, cruelty of other humans and accidents, and its clear life, at times, is tenuous and has more than its share of grief.
“Just as I am without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidst me, come to thee. O lamb of God, I come; I come;”
Just as I am was written for comfort and assurance in the brokenness that occurs in our world. Please keep those who are recovering from life’s worst in your prayers this Lent. Remember, when you face trials, God always, always cares and calls you to come rest in that care. Also, know that the 4th Sunday of March is UMCOR Sunday for all UM Churches. Through the United Methodist Committee on Relief you are already part of God’s care in the aftermath of the recent Tornadoes. Supplies and caring UMs were on their way within 48 hours of the devastation–with clean up supplies and listening ears–to hear, heal, and help in the rebuilding of lives over the months to come.
For a modern intrepretation of Just as I Am check out Nicole Nordman’s version.
Lenten Blessings, Pastor Roger