Select Page

Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.
Psalm 139:12

It is good


Recently, I took this photo of the evening light, streaming through the windows from inside of the sanctuary of South Frankfort Presbyterian Church. How beautiful is our world! How beautiful the light!

I asked Roland Herzel, church organist, if I could record him playing music and he opened an old hymnal and sat down at the piano.

After a few hymns, he began “Abide With Me” and I was simultaneously struck by the windows, and how they glowed with the kind of gold that only the evening sun can bring — a reminder of the Creator’s benediction not only upon the day, but upon all creation, saying: “It is good.”

I am blessed, I am blessed.
Every day of my life I am blessed.
When I wake up in the morning,
when I lay my head to rest,
I am blessed, I am blessed.
— Traditional Prayer

The words to “Abide With Me” were penned in 1847 by Henry F. Lyte, a composer/poet/and Anglican priest, only months before he passed away from illness at the age of 54. He had not been in good health, and doubtless, he had that in mind when he wrote the line, “Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day.”


The span of darkness between


Yet the hymn is not about resigning to life’s end, but rather about trusting in God’s promise of a bright new dawn — in which all sorrow and sighing will flee away. When we are in dark times, we may doubt because we cannot see. But through the eyes of faith, we can hold on to the words of the psalmist who proclaims, “Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” God sees.

Jewish tradition holds that the day begins not at the appearing of the sun, but of the third star the night before. This is why the Sabbath begins at sundown. I love this thought because it sanctifies not only our rest and the day to come, but the span of darkness between.

Night is drawing nigh.
For all that has been – Thanks!
For all that shall be – Yes!
— Dag Hammarskjöld (1905–61)

In these anxious times, let us hold hope in God’s promises to abide with us.
May God bless you in your night and in your day. And thanks to Roland for playing for us!



Abide with me;
fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens;
Lord with me abide.
When other helpers
fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless,
O abide with me.

Swift to its close
ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim;
its glories pass away;
Change and decay
in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not,
abide with me.

I need thy presence
every passing hour.
What but thy grace
can foil the tempter’s power?
Who like thyself
my guide and strength can be?
Through cloud and sunshine,
O abide with me.

I fear no foe
with thee at hand to bless,
ills have no weight,
and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting?
Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still,
if thou abide with me.

Hold thou thy cross
before my closing eyes.
Shine through the gloom
and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks
and earth’s vain shadows flee;
in life, in death,
O Lord, abide with me.

Words: Henry Francis Lyte, 1847
Music: William H. Monk, 1861