19 July 2020

One of the features of the current pandemic is the increased attendance at church online services. Psalm 118 says “I called to the Lord in distress; the Lord answered me”.

In the 1920s, at the age of 26, Thomas Dorsey started a publishing company and founded the National Convention for Gospel Choirs and Choruses in the United States. He worked with some of the greatest Gospel singers of his day. One night, after singing at a concert in St Louis, he was handed a telegram that said: “Your wife just died”. She had died in childbirth.

He rushed home to Chicago where his new-born son died the following day. He plunged into depression, avoided people and became angry with God. He wrote: “I felt that God had done me an injustice. I didn’t want to serve him anymore or write any more Gospel songs.”

Eventually, after much heart searching and pain, he sat down at a piano and started to, in his own words, “play and pray”. He poured out his heart to God and from his heart and across the piano keys came a song which was a popular favourite for many generations.

“Precious Lord take my hand, lead me on, let me stand. I am tired and I am weak and I am worn. Through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light. Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me home.”

Recorded by Jim Reeves and Elvis Presley among many, here is part of it courtesy of my electronic friend! May you find light in the darkness and courage for the road ahead.