I volunteer cantor at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Greencastle, and was there this evening at the 5 PM Mass. During the Presentation of Gifts, we sang the Bernadette Farrell song “O God You Search Me”. If you haven’t heard it before, do look it up; it’s one of the most simply beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard. The lyrics are based off of Psalm 139.
As I was singing it, I was reminded of two things. First, it reminded me of my former church choir director, with whom I still have a close friendship, because she’s told me on multiple occasions that that song is one of her favorites and she is always very deeply moved by it. Secondly, I started to tear up after we finished it because my thoughts turned to my Grandmother, who passed away just over a month ago. Something about the lyrics made me hope that she’s found the comfort of heaven in her passing. It wasn’t really until today that I understood what my former choir director meant when she said she was deeply moved by the piece.
I suppose I can only hope that the lyrics hold true as I forge onward in this semester; the burdens and mystery that lies ahead, and what results will come of my endeavors, both personally and academically. I’ll leave you this Halloween Eve with the lyrics:
O God, you search me and you know me.
All my ways lie open to your gaze.
When I walk or lie down, you go before me:
Ever the maker and keeper of my days.
You know my resting and my rising.
You discern my purpose from afar,
and with love everlasting you besiege me:
In ev’ry moment of life or death, you are.
Before a word is on my tongue, Lord,
you have known its meaning through and through.
You are with me beyond my understanding:
God of my present, my past and future too.
Although your Spirit is upon me,
still I search for shelter from your light.
There is nowhere on earth I can escape you:
Even the darkness is radiant in your sight.
For you created me and shaped me,
gave me life within my mother’s womb.
For the wonder of who I am, I praise you:
Safe in your hands, all creation is made new.