What a wonderful story of how God can heal the broken
THE BIRTH OF THE SONG 'PRECIOUS LORD'
in 1932, I was a fairly new husband. My wife, Nettie and I were living in a little apartment on Chicago’s
south side. One hot August afternoon I had to go to St. Louis
where I was to be the featured soloist at a large revival meeting. I didn't want to go. Nettie was in the last month
of pregnancy with our first child. But a lot of people were expecting me in St.
Louis. I kissed Nettie good-bye, clattered downstairs to our Model A and, in a fresh Lake
Michigan breeze, chugged out of Chicago on Route
However, outside the city, I discovered that
in my anxiety at leaving, I had forgotten my music case. I wheeled around and headed back.
I found Nettie sleeping
peacefully. I hesitated by her bed; something was strongly telling me to stay. But eager to get on my way, and
not wanting to disturb Nettie, I shrugged off the feeling and quietly slipped out of the room with my music.
night, in the steaming St. Louis heat, the crowd called on
me to sing again and again. When I finally sat down, a messenger boy ran up with a Western
Union telegram. I ripped open the envelope. Pasted on the yellow sheet were the words: YOUR WIFE
People were happily singing and clapping around me, but I could hardly keep from crying out. I
rushed to a phone and called home. All I could hear on the other end was 'Nettie is dead. Nettie is dead.'
I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy. I swung between grief and joy. Yet that same night,
the baby died. I buried Nettie and our little boy together, in the same casket. Then I fell apart.
For days I
closeted myself. I felt that God had done me an injustice. I didn't want to serve Him anymore or write gospel
songs. I just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once knew so well. But then, as I hunched alone in that dark apartment
those first sad days, I thought back to the afternoon I went to St. Louis.
Something kept telling me to stay with Nettie. Was that something God? Oh, if I had paid more attention to Him that day, I
would have stayed and been with Nettie when she died.
From that moment on I vowed to listen more closely to Him. But
still I was lost in grief. Everyone was kind to me, especially one friend. The following Saturday evening he took me up to
Maloney's Poro College,
a neighborhood music school. It was quiet; the late evening sun crept through the curtained windows.
I sat down at
the piano, and my hands began to browse over the keys. Something happened to me then. I felt at peace. I felt as though I
could reach out and touch God. I found myself playing a melody, once into my head they just seemed to fall into place: '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.'
The Lord gave me these words and melody, He also healed
my spirit. I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and
when we are most open to His restoring power.
And so I go on living for God willingly and joyfully, until that day
comes when He will take me and gently lead me home…
For those too young to
know who he is, Tommy Dorsey was a band leader in the Thirties and Forties.
Did you know that Tommy Dorsey wrote this
song? What a wonderful story of how God CAN heal the brokenhearted! Beautiful, isn't it?
Worth the reading,
wasn't it? Think on the message for a while. Thought you might like to share this, I just did.
Here are some members enjoying the piano.