Biblical References: Psalms 13:1-2; John 14:18; 1 John 4:7, 8, 18
Tune: Traditional Dutch melody, arranged by Julius Roentgen, 1906 ("There's a Wideness in God's Mercy")
Text: Copyright © 2002 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Permission is given for use of this hymn for local church use.
Copied from Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Upper Room Books, 2009).
Email: email@example.com New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com/
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette wrote "O God, Our Words Cannot Express" on September 11, 2001; the hymn was used by many churches on that evening and in the days that followed. "God, We've Known Such Grief and Anger" was commissioned by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance for the first anniversary of 9/11. "O God, Our Hearts Were Shattered" was written for the tenth anniversary, Sunday, September 11, 2011.
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This hymn commemorates the anniversary of September 11th. It was commissioned by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and is included in their book Out of the Depths: Voices of the Presbyterian Faith Community at Work After September 11. I wrote it so that it could be used at times of other disasters, and sadly, people have found reasons to use it all too often, including after the shootings at Virginia Tech.
Biblical references include Psalm 13:1-2; John 14:18; 1 John 4:7, 8, 18.
One of the most powerful images in the Bible is that God calls us children. God adopts us and shows his eternal love for us through Jesus Christ. Jesus reminds us in the 14th chapter of John's gospel, "I will never leave you orphaned." Even in the most desolate, despairing times, we are not abandoned.
God in Jesus Christ still loves us and holds us close. And so we pray. We pray for fear to be replaced with love. We pray for wisdom and guidance and "sure direction." We pray for people who are grieving. We pray for rescue workers and volunteers. And we pray for glimpses of God's kingdom through it all.
The hymn is in Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Upper Room Books, 2009).
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette is the author of Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor (Discipleship Resources/Upper Room Books, 2009) and Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today's Worship (Geneva Press, 2000) and the co-pastor of Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware. A complete list of her 160+ hymns can be found at www.carolynshymns.com/.