“There’s within my heart a melody, Jesus whispers sweet and low: Fear not I am with thee , peace be still ...”
More words follow but they become background noise as I focus on the young woman two rows over from where I sit. A thousand mouths still move, offering up in unison what I know must be so much meaningless chatter to her.
“I see it in her eyes,” I whisper to myself. “She’s so alone in a sea of people. Smiling people. Mostly happy people. People determined to hide their sorrows and fears. All putting their best foot forward. All conspiring to play the same game.”
“All my life was wrecked by sin and strife, discord filled my heart with pain.”
Caught by surprise, I realize I have sung the words out loud. How can you think one thing and sing another? Now that’s a trick worth remembering. But come to think of it; it really comes natural for most of us.
“Ain’t that the truth. Sin and strife; two partners in crime. Discord and pain; the two arresting officers.”
I divert my eyes as she looks my way. There is no joy there. No “Jesus keeps me singing as I go” in her face. Her mouth moves with the others but I know the truth. Those that have been, know those that are. We just know.
“Though sometimes he leads through waters deep, trials fall across the way.”
“Deep waters indeed!” I look quickly at the name of the mastermind of this song. “Luther B. Bridges. What in the world did you know about sin and strife, discord and pain? Who made you an authority on deep waters and the trials of life?”
A thousand people sing the chorus with gusto while two stand mouthing the words. Not wanting to appear out of place. Thinking themselves alone. Convinced no one present could possibly understand.
“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, sweetest name I know, fills my every longing ...”
For the briefest moment our eyes meet. Does she see in me what I see in her. We both began to sing with greater gusto than all the rest. “No one’s going to think Jesus isn’t sweet to me because He is.”
But those words. Sin, strife, discord, pain. Four anchors yanking my ship of faith back into the past. Four hounds of hell nipping at my heels. Tearing at my flesh. Unsatisfied until they are fed. Then hungry again to feed some more.
“Feasting on the riches of his grace, resting neath his sheltering wing ...”
“Wait a minute!” Something wells up from deep inside of me. Fresh waters gushing up to flush away the scum of past defeats. Anchors snap and the hounds run in fear. Momentary despair gives way to certain joy. I remember feasting on the riches of His grace after emerging from a desert of famine and thirst. His shadow still covers me from the blaring spotlight of accusation and guilt.
“Always looking on his smiling face, that is why I shout and sing ...”
I see others through different eyes. Some indeed sing in show and deception. But many here sing as I now can. I smile at the woman and close my eyes in praise.
“Soon he’s coming back to welcome me, far beyond the starry sky; I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown; I shall reign with him on high.”
“Take that you ravenous dogs of discord and pain. Away with you sin and strife.”
A prayer is said. You know, the generic kind. Bless these offerings and such. The giver and the gift. Save the world. Good but generic. But mine is specific and short. “Lead her to your grace and shelter her in your wings. Put a melody back in her heart. As you have mine.”
Luther B. Bridges wrote “There’s Within My Heart a Melody,” shortly after losing his wife and three children in a fire. He went on to pastor in Georgia, Kentucky, and North Carolina. He was also a missionary to Belgium, Czechoslovakia, and Russia.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.