Mourning the Deaths
(…Allen Johnson)

Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:1, 2)

A powerful explosion at the Upper Big Branch underground mine at 3:00 PM Monday April 5 has claimed 25 lives with four more workers missing.  This is an unspeakable tragedy….

George Matheson was a promising young scholar who went blind at age 20. His fiancé broke off their engagement. Matheson later became a minister.  He penned a powerful hymn now beloved by many, “Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go.” Here are the words to the third stanza.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee,
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

The world has come crushing down on families and friends of the dead miners. All seems lost in their immense anguish, despair, and soul pain.  May the love of God, and the love of everyone in their communities and across the nation, surround those whose loss is so deep.  And that one day the dawn of hope arise in each pained heart, so that life can go on…

Thomas Dorsey wrote the memorable song and prayer “Precious Lord” in the depth of inconsolable bereavement at the death of his wife, Nettie Harper, in childbirth, and his infant son in August 1932.

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When my way grows drear
Precious Lord linger near
When my life is almost gone
Hear my cry, hear my call
Hold my hand lest I fall
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When the darkness appears
And the night draws near
And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand
Guide my feet, hold my hand
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m lone
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

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