Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Hear Me When I Call

There are some songs that remind you of certain people every time your hear them. This week at the FHU Lectures, during the Monday evening singing, the song leader led "Hear Me When I Call," a song written by Tillit S. Teddlie (1962). When I turned the pages of the song book and stopped at this hymn, I immediately thought of one man, Red Mitchell.

When I first came to Pulaski St., nearly five years ago, I was blessed to get to follow brother Mitchell into the pulpit. As David has written in one of our past bulletins, he is a modern day "sweet singer of Israel." Red would often lead this hymn before our opening prayer. As the days have passed I have seen a deeper meaning in the words of this song. Faith in God allows the spirit to get stronger as the flesh becomes weaker. On occasion I have considered the phrase, "hold my trembling hand, lest helpless I should fall." As time continues to usher our more aged members into eternity, I can see the comfort of God being lived out in our elderly, as they sing this thought to God in unwavering faith.

If anyone would ever live out the words of his own pen, brother Teddlie did so. He wrote this song in his 70's, and then lived another 25 years to sing it. At the age of 102, Tillit S. Teddile left this world, having written over 100 songs, many of which are still sung at each service by his brethren today. I imagine that he, and brother Mitchell, and many others have taken great consolation in God, in spite of their physcial infirmities. Some trembling comes to each one us, no matter our circumstances. With some this problem becomes more visible with age, and reminds each one of us of our approaching appointment with God.

May our great and matchless Father help us to echo the cry of our brethren who have gone before us. May each one of call unto our God who does hear us, who will hold our trembling hand across the vail.

Hear me when I call, O God, my righteousness,
Unto Thee I come in weakness and distress;
Hold my trembling hand, lest helpless I should fall,
O hear me, Lord, hear me, O hear me when I call!
~ Tillit S. Teddlie (1962)

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