Thou Hast Taught Me to Say

It is well with my soul.

When helicopters fly over the river, and I hope that they find something, because I want to know, and I hope that they don't, because I can't think of any way for that to be good.

It is well with my soul.

When I think of how I'm not seeing who I should be seeing. The sidewalk seems emptier. The stacks at the library are missing a person. Shifts in the dining hall aren't covered. A mailbox is unchecked.

It is well with my soul.

When I look back at the papers I graded last semester, wondering if I missed something. We all wonder, questioning, all the what-ifs. When I realize that I remember the shoes they think he's wearing, yeah, because I could see them on the periphery of my vision when I sat in front of him in class.

It is well with my soul.

When my fingers run a name through google, all anxious irritation, and I'm hoping for new news, hoping that no news is good news, and my brain is all tangled and I don't know what I want.

It is well with my soul.

When I get out of a good class and then it hits me all over again, the sudden sick feeling. Waking up in the middle of the night and remembering.

It is well with my soul.

And it is well with my soul when I sit with other students and we're thrown together hard and suddenly by this thing we can't explain or understand, and we still worship and we pray and cry and hope and fear. And when we end with singing the hymn that began running through my head as we prayed, all our confused questions melting down into trust in God.

And it is well with my soul when I realize that this is what lost really means, what it feels like when someone is lost, and I suddenly know that the word is so much worse than I ever knew before. That this is what we were, what I was, before Christ found me, only so much worse. And it's harder to take being found for granted.

Pieces come together for me, although not yet answers. Stephen Altrogge's recent post on prayer haunts me as I pray and think about having to keep praying for who knows how long, with nothing to run on but trust in God.

He writes,

Over time our prayers tend to decrease in intensity. Jesus tells us that as time passes, our prayers should actually increase in intensity. The longer that God delays, the harder we should pray. We shouldn’t automatically assume that a delayed answer means no answer at all.

but read the whole post.

Caedmon's Call's lyrics:

Whatcha been doin today?
Cuz I've been thinkin about you.
Heard some news that set my mind to wondering,
And I need to hear your voice.
Are you out on the plains,
Burning your feet on the ground?
Out where noone even knows your name,
Seventy miles out of town.

We miss you, do you miss us?
What is the language with which these words I can trust?
I thank my God every time
I remember you.

Whatcha been thinkin about?
Cuz I've been thinkin about life,
And how nothing can escape the governing of God.
Still somehow that just doesn't comfort me tonight.
I still need to hear your voice.

Now I hear you, do you hear me?
What medium is there that I can use to make you see
That I thank my God every time
I remember you.

Bending down to help a flower, dry with poverty.
Helping it to understand its inheritance.
I remember life so bright,
Every time I close my eyes,
I see you.

Brother you made it,
Brother you made it,
Brother you made it.

And I thank my God every time,
And I thank my God every time,
I remember you.

Pray that we find him, and find him safe and soon.

Pray that God find His people.

Pray that we find each other where we need to be found.

Pray that we are all able to say, taught to say, It is well with my soul.

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