“Abide With Me”—a hymn; text by Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847); tune-- Eventide by William Henry Monk.
Little provides me with solace. My inner self often feels like the Munch painting “The Scream.” Work has been a blessing but can’t fill all the hours of the day. When I feel overwhelmed by the silence and “black hole” that have pervaded my life, I find myself singing “Help of the helpless, O abide with me,” which was performed at my husband’s funeral. It gives me a measure of comfort and encouragement to move ahead.
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.
I need thy presence every passing hour;
What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, 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.
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.