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Sweet and Aweful

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

How sweet and aweful is the place
With Christ within the doors
While everlasting love displays
The choicest of her stores!

We spent time with family this weekend and there were many moments to be treasured. The conversation seeped into my grateful heart. My mom is 83. Our reminiscing with her included:

  • She was the kid who stood up to adults who did not have her and her siblings' best interests at heart. Starting around the age of five.

  • She knew how to have a good time with a gang of friends without getting into the stuff that could change lives earlier than life should.

  • She drag raced. As in, she was the driver. My estimation of her late teen years has been radically altered. It explains some things about my personal adventures.

  • She fell in love with a quiet guy playing bass in the Air Force band.

  • People just danced through life, didn't they? That's why she boarded a plane dressed to the nines to fly north and marry my dad after he completed his service in the military.

  • They couldn't afford a honeymoon. They loved their little apartment. Snow blew through cracks in the kitchen during their first winter.

  • Music flowed continually in their lives. Dad played in local bands, gave lessons, repaired instruments, and shared the natural gift with us kids. It was a way of life and a consistent beautiful mode of communication even when the choreography of life grew complicated.

When talking about some of the difficult times, mom said, "There were five precious lives that God knew would come out of that marriage." She determined to create a home with my dad that would nurture those five lives and many others. Our home was safe and secure even in its imperfections.

Why are we here?

Why has God kindly allowed us to know Him?

What is it about the mysterious power of music that draws us together?

What is music's role in the worship of God?

My sister-in-love and I were chatting about some of the family stories and the good grace of God in all of our lives. She pulled up this song. We listened. I loved the words. I can't determine if "aweful" means "awful" (because we're sinners and Jesus is holy), "awesome" as in terrific, or "awe-ful", as in full of awe at Christ's overwhelming presence.

Take a listen:

How sweet and aweful is the place

With Christ within the doors,

While everlasting love displays

The choicest of her stores!

Here every bowel of our God

With soft compassion rolls;

Here peace and pardon bought with blood

Is food for dying souls.

While all our hearts and all our songs

Join to admire the feast,

Each of us cry, with thankful tongues,

Lord, why was I a guest?

Why was I made to hear Thy voice,

And enter while there's room;

When thousands make a wretched choice,

And rather starve than come?

'Twas the same love that spread the feast

That sweetly forced us in

Else we had still refused to taste,

And perished in our sin.

Pity the nations, O our God!

Constrain the earth to come;

Send Thy victorious Word abroad,

And bring the strangers home.

We long to see Thy churches full,

That all the chosen race

May with one voice, and heart, and soul,

Sing Thy redeeming grace.

Isaac Watts

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

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