lyrics for living 3 (dews of quietness)

Last year my daughter Bethany asked me if she could cross-stitch some words that were precious to me.  It took a few seconds to make up my mind. And so it came to pass, over Christmas, that some wise words arrived from the east (well, more the south, I guess), simply framed and starkly beautiful.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness
'til all our strivings cease.
Take from our lives the strain and stress;
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of Thy peace.

It sits now in a prominent place on my desk. Just in front of the tissue roll that helps remove the 'strain and stress' from my far-too-frequent spillages of tea across my desk. Just behind the tangled web of cords that remind me of the 'strain and stress' in my life caused by technology. Just next to a picture of my other daughter (Alyssa) - and little Micah - who are coming to visit me in 15 days ... now, how's that for a 'strain and stress' reliever?

Sometimes we are led to believe that 'joy' and 'happiness' are somehow related to each other, maybe even synonyms. In reality, 'happiness' is a pathetic word, with its experience marked normally by something shallow and temporary. The experience is more thermometer (controlled by the environment) than it is thermostat (controlling the environment).

Far better, I think, to divorce joy from happiness and remarry it to peace. Because 'peace is joy resting; joy is peace dancing'. This is where oneness lies - maybe even synonymity. These lyrics speak about the beauty of God's peace and how God drops it like dew onto our lives - quietly, refreshingly, gently, daily - resting upon us in a way that takes away the strain and stress that comes with  living. And when the experience is rich and full, take another look - it might just be joy as well.

This verse gained some profile in the Dunkirk scene in the movie Atonement. I'll show it here, but it was far more impressive in the flow of the film where it took me so much by surprise:

There are many choral/organ performances of this hymn (Dear Lord and Father of Mankind) but here is a quirky version sung in an odd setting ... and yet with its own power (this verse is at 2.48).

nice chatting



Heather said…
Thank you. I've now had the hymn rolling around in my head all day, and just now have put the words on my computer desktop to keep it there :-)
Thanks to both of you. Once you get these words resonating around inside, they are difficult to shift!
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