Songs for the Caregiver, Balm in GileadOur friends Ken and Cindy Najar run a Christian book store near our home, and they play Peter’s CD, Songs for the Caregiver, throughout the day.
Ken and Cindy often share with us the impact of that CD, and specifically this song.  They tell me that customers, while browsing the shelves, hear this song and then weep as it’s played throughout the store.

A Hymn Born From Pain and Sorrow

This time-honored hymn came from a place of pain.  When Peter asked me to sing this, I reflected on my own journey of sorrow, loss, and pain.
Currently, I’m working with my fourth pain specialist since 1989. Over the decades, in addition to the 78 operations, doctors have administered well over 100 nerve blocks, injections, and infusions.  There is no way we can count the massive amount of medications since my accident in 1983.
In addition, surgeons implanted medical pain management devices in me.  One failed miserably, and the other worked for a while, and then it spiraled into an infection magnet and had to be removed. Even today, I have a call into my physician as we try alternative paths.

I Don’t Perform This Song, I Cling To It.

Balm In GileadWhere does my comfort come from?  What strengthens me in this journey that now spans thirty-four years?
It comes from the knowledge that our Savior understands sorrow, loss, wounds, and pain on an unimaginable scale.
We recorded this as a gift for Peter’s father, a minister for more than 56 years.  This song continues to define his ministry and the passion he feels to reach the “wounded and sin-sick souls.”  At the time I recorded this, I worried the numerous intubations left permanent injury to my vocal chords. Peter encouraged me to sing this, however, and our friend, Grammy award winning sound engineer, Chris Latham helped.  He brought recording equipment to the house, and I sat in my wheelchair in our kitchen with my dog, Mack next to me. Peter played the piano in the room right off the kitchen, and Chris recorded this live to track. Peter later contracted and produced the lush orchestrations.
This Sunday, I will once again sing this song at church.  We do so periodically at special events or times of grief.  This song contains deep personal meaning to so many, and it never ceases to move me. I don’t perform it, I cling to it.

A Song of Comfort and Strength

If you struggle with pain and sorrow today, my prayer and hope is that this song will do for you what it continues to do for me.  It anchors me in the reality of the Gospel, and the comfort, grace, and strength issued to us by our Savior.
Furthermore, each time I sing or hear this song, I am assured of the promise that one day, the wounded will indeed be made whole.
 Gracie Rosenberger