It always surprises me when you get to know someone a bit better as they shed another layer, another hurt or grief. Over coffee today I learnt of a friend who carries the burden of losing a baby. He has a name, and together the family grieve for his life lost, a family once hoped for and a vision of a life imagined, now unknown. I wanted to ask her where her hope comes from, longing to know if there was something filling the God shaped hole that is in all of us. But kids and chaos got in the way. There were words I did not say, sentiments not expressed. I am sad for her. Have you ever lost a baby? Or grieved with a friend who has been on that journey? What did you do? What did you say to bring comfort and hope?
I have a hope and it is expresses in this hymn, one I have loved for years and want at my funeral. It was written in 1664 by Samuel Crossman, My Song is Love Unknown.
My song is love unknown,
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
My Lord should take frail flesh and die?
Salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
The longed-for Christ would know:
But O! my Friend, my Friend indeed,
Who at my need His life did spend.
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King:
Then “Crucify!” is all their breath,
And for His death they thirst and cry.
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
He gave the blind their sight,
Sweet injuries! Yet they at these
Themselves displease, and ’gainst Him rise.
My dear Lord made away;
A murderer they save,
The Prince of life they slay,
Yet cheerful He to suffering goes,
That He His foes from thence might free.
My Lord on earth might have;
In death no friendly tomb
But what a stranger gave.
What may I say? Heav’n was His home;
But mine the tomb wherein He lay.
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King!
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend, in Whose sweet praise
I all my days could gladly spend.