The beautiful words of the hymn “Abide with Me” have brought great comfort to many people on the brink of personal tragedy whenever they suddenly knew they could do nothing for themselves.
A nineteen year old soldier badly wounded in the war and taken to hospital to die was spoken to by an officer who told him of Christ’s walk along the Emmaus road and of the disciples who said to Jesus ‘Abide with us… ‘ The dying soldier remembered the words of the famous hymn which his mother often sang, and asked the officer to repeat them to him. After which he went quietly to sleep.
On the beaches in the Dunkirk evacuation a terrible air attack developed. Immediately one soldier with an accordian began to play ‘Abide with me’. Men stood to attention and sang with deep feeling. Never before was there such a splendid choir.
A prisoner of the Japanese tells how he suffered many cruelties and kept his courage by repeating the first words of ‘Abide with me’ daily and longed for a complete copy of the hymn. Sometime later he noticed a fellow prisoner rolling tobacco in a piece of paper. Something made him ask to look at it and found it contained the complete words and music of ‘Abide with me’. His joy knew no bounds.
What is the appeal, the secret of ‘Abide with me’ ? Is it because today more and more people have found themselves in trouble, afraid of the future, fearful of the things that are happening on this earth?
We pray that all our readers may be kept safe in His care, that “Heaven’s morning” will soon break and “earth’s vain shadows flee” and that “Through cloud and sunshine” Our Lord will abide with you all.