Higher Ground

Lord, lift me up and let me stand
By faith on heaven’s tableland,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

At the risk of sounding morbid, I recently started a list of hymns and scriptures I would like to have read at my funeral. I don’t want the usual things. I want people to remember me and my living faith (and doubts). Higher Ground is one of the hymns I just love, especially since hearing Iris DeMent sing it. For All the Saints would make a nice processional. How many hymns could there be, I wonder? Probably not enough to suit me. How Firm a Foundation would be a good one, too. I especially love the final verse:

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no, never, no, never forsake.

I hope there will be, oh, five hundred great voices to sing it, not because I want a turn-out for my own pride, but because that’s a rafter-shaker if sung by enough big voices.

And forget the 23rd Psalm. Give me the 46th any day.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns. 6 The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. 7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. 8 Come, behold the works of the LORD; see what desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. 10 “Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.” 11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

There’s just something about that glad river that speaks of hope for the future. And I do have that hope, although these days it seems hard when people in power when people in power don’t seem to be answerable or even questionable for their actions or lack thereof.

This afternoon #2 Son and I went out with the dogs, and we walked around and around the new dog park. My favorite part is a field on top of a hill, a sort of tableland, if you will. I like it there. Just needs a glad river instead of that yucky black marsh water down below…