Tuesday, August 01, 2006

My Favorite Song

I was drawn into a post on Five Cent Stand today, talking about the despondency of those in nursing homes. This is a special subject to me because of the years I spent visiting a nursing home every week when I was in college, singing with the people there. Following my own bunny trail, I soon found myself thinking about the songs we sang there, which lead me to think about the songs we sang every week, and the one song that we sang without fail – sometimes more than once a night – because they always asked for it. The song I came to dread because I wanted something different. The song I would not sing of my own volition. The song that now is my favorite song. It isn’t very popular nowadays. It’s downbeat; we want peppy. It’s mournful; we want cheery. It’s slow; we want toe-tapping. It’s old; we look for new things. It’s also magnificent in the promise it conveys, and the promise I make in singing these words is taxing and life-changing. I can hardly sing this song, because of the lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as I think of the beauty of the song and the beauty of the people who asked to hear it so many times. It shames me as I remember how I resisted singing this song with the people who cherished it, and it draws me close to my God and Savior. My favorite song:

On a hill far away, stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff'ring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

Oh, that old rugged cross so despised by the world
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left his glory above,
To bear it to dark Calvary.

In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see;
For 'twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true,
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then he'll call me some day to my home far away,
Where his glory forever I'll share.

So I'll cherish the rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down'
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

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