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It is a hot day here which makes it perfect for wandering around the internet highway which it turns out is air conditioned!

I started looking up the website of Fr. John Dear and found a number of articles he has written including one on Henri Nouwen.  I plan to read it in more detail and report back on it in the future.Fr. Dear is a renowned disciple of peace and non-violence.

While visiting his site I noticed an article Fr. Dear had written on the last words of one of his heroes, Dr. Martin Luther King. Fr. Dear tells us that;

The Lorraine Motel, in Memphis, lingers most in my mind. It sat then in a neighborhood of poverty and despair. I stood on the balcony and looked across the shabby vista. He himself stood there forty years ago now, waiting to go to dinner and from there to a mass meeting. He called down to the driver, also a soloist in the choir, and requested his favorite hymn for that night, “Precious Lord, Take my Hand.” Precious Lord, take my hand — Dr. King’s very last words.

This reference lead me to explore the hymn, Precious Lord, take my hand  and I found that:

“Take My Hand, Precious Lord” (aka “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” is a gospel song, lyrics by Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey (1899-1993), melody by George Nelson Allen (1812-1877). Rev. Dorsey penned “Precious Lord” in response to his inconsolable bereavement at the death of his wife, Nettie Harper, in childbirth, and his infant son in August 1932.The earliest known recording was made on February 16, 1937, by the Heavenly Gospel Singers. “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” is published in more than forty languages.

The words in this description that caught my attention were “inconsolable bereavement.” The hymn is more than likely familiar to many but I had never heard it before. Here it is along with the lyrics. Listening to it you can see why it was Dr. King’s favorite hymn as he traveled those difficult roads towards justice for all.

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Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When my way grows drear
Precious Lord linger near
When my life is almost gone
Hear my cry, hear my call
Hold my hand lest I fall
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When the darkness appears
And the night draws near
And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand
Guide my feet, hold my hand
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m lone
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

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