As many of you know from reading this blog I am an “old school” type, someone who knows all the words to the great songs written before the 80s. I know next to nothing about contemporary music and singers.
But the choir at my church sang a song yesterday that stayed in my heart for the rest of the day. I don’t recall hearing the song before yesterday ( although I’m told it’s been around for some time). Perhaps I’ve heard it before (for as much time as I spend in churches), but I heard it differently on yesterday.
A simple song. A simple melody. A simple prayer. It’s called ”Jesus, Jesus, Jesus (A Katrina Song).” The song was evidently written on behalf of the victims of Hurricane Katrina and for anyone who knows what it is to experience profound grief and sadness.
I woke up to discover this morning that the man who wrote the song, the one singing on this YouTube clip, the Rev. Timothy Wright was involved in a terrible automobile accident this weekend that took the life of his wife and grandson. As our church was singing one of his songs on yesterday, little did we know that Rev. Wright was struggling for his own life. The Wright family was driving home from a church conference when the accident occurred. Rumors are that while his wife and grandson perished Rev. Wright survived, but lost both of his legs in the accident.
In the old African American slave and church tradition where preaching was more than just preaching, but singing and story telling, Rev. Timothy Wright models for his audience how the old saints prayed and sang their way through sorrow and heartache. They came together and shared stories and shared in carry one another’s burdens.
A simple song. A simple melody. A simple prayer. A song for when you are at a lost for words. For those times in one’s life when all you know to do is to call on the name of Jesus.
For the man whose song lifted my heart to heaven on yesterday and took me back to the old days, I pray today a simple prayer for him and for everyone who knows this week something about grief and grieving.