Thursday, June 21, 2007

Hidden Pearls

Once a month I help two other chaplains at a care center in Portland where they minister each week. I join them to lead a monthly hymn-sing and help with devotions. The residents there are very sweet, special people and I love being with them. Yesterday afternoon was our time to be together. Just as we were ready to start singing, two family members of a resident arrived to visit her. She told them she couldn't visit right then because she didn't want to miss the singing or the devotion -- she said they would have to wait until we were finished to talk to her! I invited them to join us and they enjoyed it so much they talked of coming to sing with us again next month.

As I headed home I stopped at a big Goodwill store nearby to see what might be waiting there for me. I try to stop there whenever I'm in the area. They have a fantastic book department - I'm a book lover - and I hardly ever leave without books to add to my collection or to share with someone special. Yesterday I found a real treasure!

I love the old hymns and I collect old hymnbooks. There are a lot of beautiful, old hymns that are not well known . Every time I "discover" one of them it's almost like finding a new friend. I enjoy learning the stories behind the hymns and knowing about the writers. There on the bottom shelf was an interesting-looking book. When I picked it up you may have heard me squeal with delight! Here is what I found:

This book is a collection of ten hymns and their inspiring, untold stories, "a beautiful collection of hidden pearls that tell the story of a 'divine romance' that exists between God and His people." Each chapter has beautiful illustrations and includes the words of the featured hymns, the stories behind the hymns, wonderful devotions, and a brief description of the hymn writers' spiritual experiences—"whether those of sweet tenderness, spiritual warfare, or of deep suffering. These experiences became the press from which the wine of their poetic utterances poured forth." A CD that features the London Philharmonic Orchestra and vocals was included. (You can learn more here.) The music is beautiful and it lifts my soul. I will spend many hours with this book and CD.

I called this post "Hidden Pearls". When I started writing I was only thinking of the book title but as I began to share about my afternoon, I realized that the real hidden pearls are the folks at the care center who bless me every time I am with them. They have graciously opened their hearts to me and I hope that some of the beauty I see in them will be reflected in my life.


  1. The book sounds lovely. I too love to read the history behind our od hymns. My favorite story is how the wonderful hymn "It Is Well With My Soul" came to be written!

    Thanks for visiting my little blog!

  2. Hi Adrienne. Thanks for coming by to visit me. Don't tear out your dishcloth! Just finish it. And don't give it away. My grandma taught me to always keep my first project.

    There are a ton of websites on dishcloths to knit. I also belong to a knit-along that sends me 2 dishcloth patterns a month. It is fun. I'll send you the link if you want me to. Just let me know.

    Your garden is so beautiful. Grape and raspberries. Oh, my. What a treat. Our blackberries are just ending here in Florida. It was fun while it lasted. WE need rain for the rest of the bounty to grow.

    Have a great week.

  3. Adrienne, thank you for the very kind words you left on my blog. I'm so glad you did so I could come visit you, too. I read your last few posts and so enjoyed them. What a story of God's grace in the lives of the three men who needed medical attention. Your granddarlings are, well, darling! And part of my 'coming to know Jesus' story includes reading the Bible to nursing home residents (their request) when I still didn't know Him. Aren't God's ways fascinating?


  4. I can identify with your love of books. I have a weakness for old books, especially of the Christian variety - and I have a number of old hymnals. I've begun listing my books at, and I have a link on my blog to my listing - and even a search box. I know what it feels like to get a new book that you just LOVE! I can't think of too many things that compare with it.


I am grateful that you stopped by to visit me. Your kind and gracious comments are appreciated and treasured.