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Morning Song – O Lord Hold My Hand While I Run This Race

January 17, 2016

I don’t know where or when the mass meeting was held at which this version of “O Lord Hold My Hand While I Run This Race” was recorded.  It was in the South and it was in the early 1960s.  It was probably a small country church because there’s no organ.  It’s the closing song, after the final prayer, appealing for God’s help to continue in the struggle.

And maybe it was a long meeting after a difficult day, because you can hear just about halfway through (1:14) the minister attempting to cut off the song and move people out the door.  But the singers don’t stop.  They recognize what the minister hasn’t: the people need something more to face what they’re going out to face.  And so they add another verse.  And another one after that.

“O Lord, hold my hand….”

“O Lord, guide my feet….”

“O Lord, speak for me….”

“O Lord, search my heart….”

It’s a song that says, “Lord, I’ve carried this burden a mighty long way. I’ve stayed in this struggle as far as I can go. And if I’m going to continue, I need some help.  Don’t let my living be in vain.  Help me in this moment when I can’t help myself.”

I like to believe they all got home safe that night, through whatever terrors the night held, and rose the next morning ready and able to carry on.

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From → Music

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