Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Listening from Weird Places

Yesterday morning I woke to my husband watching TV out in the living room which is very rare. As I went about my regular morning stuff I couldn't believe my ears. An orchestra on the IFC channel was playing "The Old Rugged Cross." As I peaked out of the kitchen to see who it was on TV playing this old hymn, I saw the camera focused on one member of the orchestra-Woody Allen, a Jew, playing a classic Christian hymn of the faith on a clarinet.

That was really weird so I thought I better pay attention to what God was saying. Ever since, the tune has been stuck in my head so I went to my book shelf and pulled down my hymn book and prayed this hymn (listening hearts often use their hymn books to pray).
The cool thing about listening to God in weird places is that hearing this song answered prayers. As I begin to write the follow-up study to “The Listening Heart,” I ask God which hymns he wants to use for each week of study (each one of my chapters has a hymn of prayer at the end of it). I actually have three follow-up books. Each one deals with listening to a personality of the trinity. The one I am working on now is called, “Hearts Who Listen for the Potter’s Voice: Recognizing the Molding Hands of God the Father.” It is based on Genesis 32:22-32, Jacob’s wrestling with God. This hymn is perfect for Chapter Three: Hands Thoroughly Acquainted with Clay: Clinging to God.

May this old hymn get stuck in your head and heart this week like it did in mine. As we listen to the message from God found in it, we can learn what it means to be ever true to that "Old Rugged Cross."


George Bennard

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
for a world of lost sinners was slain.

Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above,
To bear it to dark Calvary.

In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
Such a wonderful beauty I see;
For ‘twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true,
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross, And exchange it someday for a crown.

Clinging to God with You, Susan

1 comment:

Joseph A. said...

Shall we swap hymns? Actually, I don't know if this is a hymn or not:

At Calvary

Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died on Calvary.

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.

By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary.

Now I’ve given to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing of Calvary!

Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary!