Faith Thoughts are sent in by Dr Elisabeth Leembruggen from Holy Trinity Utrecht.
Some through the water,
some through the flood,
some through the fire,
but all through the blood.
Some through great sorrow,
but God gives a song.
George A Young, 1903
As a youngster, I thought little of these words or their meaning as I heard Nan singing this tune in the kitchen. To be young (in the main) is to live a happy, carefree life in most Western societies. As we age, as life’s experiences are written on our souls, we come to understand these battles of fire and flood.
When battling flames eating up our happy home, or wading through the flood waters of our once joyous life—it’s hard to see the good. It’s not just
that our worldly, sometimes irreplaceable possessions, are gone. The cherished memories and experiences they represent lie awash or pulverised in ash. That person with whom we shared so much is silent.
As anguish abates—as we pick up the pieces of our broken lives—we weep, maybe wail and allow time to do its work. The night season is a lonely time. But as we reach out in faith, we come to see the ‘silver lining on the cloud’, the unseen hand of God in the loss, simple or profound.
The beloved item from the old country polishes up like new; as we scrub we are renewed. The insurance refund replaces ‘that old decrepit thing’ which was at best sentimental, at worse the item we ‘threatened to throw away’. Memories fill us with laughter through tears. The work of restoration and healing begins.
Whilst nothing replaces the person, the object or the experience, we are alive. Those we love are healthy, whole or at peace. The community pitches in to support and comfort. From the flood and fire, the sorrow and ashes, rises the Phoenix of new life. Joy comes in the morning. The old is remembered, restored where possible. The new portends something we could never have imagined—perhaps even better than what was lost. But if not, we are alive to pursue another day, as God gives a song: In the night season and all the day long.