The defining hymn of my father’s entire career as a minister continues to be “A Balm in Gilead”
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole.
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.
It’s a song of pain, lament, and hope that has touched uncounted lives. Yet, I’ve always felt this song would be best performed by someone significantly affected by pain.
Introducing this hymn to Gracie some years back, I accompanied her in an arrangement I made of this song. She blended the hymn, BE STILL MY SOUL, and sang this arrangement from her wheelchair. My friend, Chris Latham, (a Grammy award winning sound engineer) brought equipment to our home and recorded this live to track. After singing this, I looked at Chris from the piano and saw tears streaming done his face. Someone who understood pain in a way few do …did indeed sing this song.
Today, November 18, marks the 36 anniversary of Gracie’s car accident that cost her so much: 80+ operations, the amputation of both legs. and severe chronic pain from the massive orthopedic trauma.
How does one survive such an ordeal …for so many decades?
What hope sustains through relentless pain and disability …for so long?
“But I have trusted in Thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because He hath dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13:5-6
Gracie sings because she knows that even 36 years of disability pales in comparison to the bountiful work God has done for her through Christ. She trusts Him with her scarred and broken body …because of HIS scarred body that was broken for us.
“And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:24