chang|e one's mind

i wrote a song… in my mind


with 3 comments

we talked about hymns in my worship class tonight and it reminded me of a past memory.  this story takes place when i was around 6 years old.

saturday morning.  no school morning.  cartoon morning.  the rays of light peeking through the blinds creep across my bed and prod my eyes open.  i had never been one to sleep in.  7:00am was sleeping in for me.  i rub the sleep from my eyes and roll off the bed in search of cinnamon toast crunch and bugs bunny.  i creep down the stairs as to not wake my sister who had learned the art of sleeping in and had never taught me.  one hand on the banister and the other holding the wall as i make my way down the creaky stairs.  i make it to the bottom and on my way to the promise land of sugar and milk i hear a sound that stops me and makes me forget what i was on the quest for.

the sound was faint at first, like the tv was on a couple rooms over.  then i realize it’s a voice.  then i realize the voice is singing.  it’s my grandmother.  like a siren’s song it draws me in.  i see her sitting on the other set of stairs, eyes closed, rocking back and forth.  she was singing a hymn in korean.  i could mimic the words but couldn’t understand what they meant.  week after week this is how i woke up on saturdays.  there was a set of hymns she would sing – her favorites.

when she was in the hospital after she had suffered a stroke, my family rushed to see her.  not knowing what we would see when we arrived, we were all very afraid even though we wouldn’t admit it.  we opened the door to her room and the reality of her mortality hit us hard.  she seemed weak.  this woman who had traveled the world in her old age.  this woman who worked so hard all of her life.  this woman who raised me.  this woman who now lay in a hospital bed with iv’s and tubes in her nose.  other people from church joined us there as well.  we prayed over her.  and then we sang a hymn at the request of my dad.  one of the familiar ones i had heard her sing so many saturdays ago.  her favorite one.  i saw through my own tears that each of my family members broke down and cried as the hymn went on, knowing that this song is exactly what she would want to sing if she could.

it wasn’t until after she died that i figured out the words of one of the hymns she used to sing when i was 6.  the words that i could mimic so well but had no meaning for me.  i realized she had been singing of Jesus’ blood shed for us all these years.

although i’m not a huge fan of hymns, there’s so many things they have taught me: deep theological truths about grace, sacramental theology, faith, or laments.  but i think most of all i’ve learned that hymns can connect believers together, across generations, across languages, across illnesses, and across death.

thanks grandma.



Written by enoch

November 19, 2010 at 12:50 am

Posted in from my mind

3 Responses

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  1. Of all the posts you have put up, this is my favorite.


    November 19, 2010 at 1:45 am

  2. beautiful 🙂


    November 19, 2010 at 10:17 am

  3. someone’s cutting onion at work!


    November 19, 2010 at 11:42 am

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