A few years ago I had the privilege of briefly getting to know Dr Bill Stockwell. This hymn by E.M. Govan was sung at his funeral (to ‘Londonderry Air’).
You ask me why I see no charm nor glory
In this world’s pleasures or its wealth and fame?
And why I love that Galilean story
Of One who died upon a cross of shame?
It is because my soul hath known her sinning,
The grief and darkness of that cry “undone,”
And at that Cross has found a new beginning,
Life through the death of that dear Dying One.
You ask me why I find no rest nor gladness
In paths where selfish ease would while my hours?
And why I toil where hearts in bitter sadness
Lie crushed beneath sin’s fierce o’erwhelming powers?
It is because I know Life’s thread is slender,
But one short hour, one little stretch of road.
Then yearns my heart with love divinely tender,
To seek the lost and bring them home to God.
You ask me why what gifts I have, what graces
Are poured an offering at His holy feet,
And why I brave the cold contemptuous faces
Of those who love this world and find it sweet?
It is because I see a distant morning
When stand God’s sons around His jasper throne;
I see bright crowns those holy brows adorning,
And I, too, long to hear my Lord’s “Well done.”