Friday, December 17, 2010

"Lord of the Small" by the Sterling Singers

[Update, December 20]: Here is the text for the anthem:

Praise to the Lord of the Small Broken Things,
Who Sees the Poor Sparrow That cannot take wing.
Who loves the lame child and the wretch in the street
who comforts their sorrows and washes their feet.

Praise to the lord of the faint and afraid
who girds them with courage and lends them his aid,
he pours out his spirit on vessels so weak,
that the timid can serve and the silent can speak.

Praise to the lord of the frail and the ill
who heals their afflictions or carries them till,
they leave this tired frame and to paradise fly.
to never be sick and never to die.

Praise him, O Praise Him All ye who live
who`ve been given so much and can so little give
our frail lisping praise God will never Despise.
He Sees His Dear ChildrenThrough Mercy Filled Eyes!
[End Update]

Several years ago, my wife, Johanna, wrote a text called "Lord of the Small." Last year, she sent it to Dan Forrest, who was working on a commission to honor the memory of a 12-year-old girl in College Station, Texas, who died of cancer.

Dan saw that "Lord of the Small" fit the subject and wrote a beautiful melody for it. The result has been a piece that has been sung in churches not only in this country, but abroad, and I am thankful that God has seen to reward Johanna's efforts and allowed her to bless others with the simple theme that God does not manifest Himself in the proud and the powerful, but in those who are weak and frail and humble.

I especially am pleased that this was sung at the University of Utah, which is home to a wonderful choral program, led by Dr. Brady Allred.

(Thanks to Pastor Travis who found this video. Travis, by the way, was the ONLY pastor in the LMJC to speak out about the false accusations against Tonya Craft. I am not surprised that he is moved by the text of "Lord of the Small," as he understands that the Kingdom of God is not manifest by power and might, but by those who are weak and humble, yet bring God's message in a way that the proud and arrogant never could do.)


Kerwyn said...

Oh Bill,

How lovely!

Anonymous said...

That was awesome...Thanks for sharing..

justiceseeker51 said...

Hey Everyone, Hope Everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.....Have had some sickness in my family, but everything is going to be OK. Grandchildren are out for SNOW(yippee)they LOVE it, and 'tis the Season....So One and All, I hope you have Great Holidays.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely beautiful Bill. Thanks for sharing & thanks to your wonderful wife for starting something that was brought to life. WOW!


p.s. I've been out of the loop for a couple of weeks and am about to catch up on your blogs. In case I miss something, have you heard anything about your article for Reason? (don't want to leave Kerwyn out...:-))

Anonymous said...

I first heard this song on the newest Soundforth CD. It has been a huge blessing recently as I've seen my sister-in-law lose her 16-year-old nephew to cancer. His testimony was amazing and I love to think of him in Paradise, never to be sick and never to experience death. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Please tell Johanna how grateful I am for her lyrics. My Godmother lost her battle with pancreatic cancer this morning, and, for the past two weeks, I've been listening to "Lord of the Small" day after day on my iPod -- specifically for the third verse. Thank you so very much, because I knew she was going soon and God was there with her on the journey.

Priscilla Webster-Williams said...

The choir I sing in sang "Lord of the Small" last Sunday at our church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I found the hymn extremely moving and was curious to know more about the writer of the hymn/lyrics, so did a search. I was so pleased to find the text of the hymn here. Thank you for sharing the text and the videos. I hope to locate more of Johanna Anderson's beautiful poetry.