Softly the shadows fall o’er land and sea;
Voices of evening call, speaking to me;
Busy my hands this day,
Small time to think or pray;
Now at the close of day I come to Thee.
Lord, ’tis Thy tender touch now we implore;
Day with its toil is done, labour is o’er;
Now in the evening while shadows fall,
Grant us Thy peace, who give to Thee our all.
What can I bring to Thee, fruit of today?
Have I walked worthily in work and play,
Lightened my brother’s load,
Walking life’s toilsome road,
New strength and love bestowed, Master, I pray?
As the birds homeward wend, seeking their nest,
Thou who hast called me friend knowest me best;
Forgive if I should roam,
And grant that I may come
To find at last my Home safe in Thy breast.
Peace of heart and mind can be elusive in our busy lives. Note the condition given in the last line of the chorus: “who give to Thee our all”. Surrendering our lives to the Lord precedes our acceptance of the peace He longs to give us. Philippians 4:6,7 reminds us: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
First known as a Songster selection, the above lovely hymn was written by Salvation Army Colonel Mrs. Ivy Mawby, who lived in Britain and France from 1903 to 1983. She was known for her way with words and her ability to see God’s presence in everyday life.
The restful tune was written by another British Salvationist, Bandmaster George Marshall of South Shields Corps. Much of his music consisted of brass band marches – a contrast to Grant Us Thy Peace. Marshall was a wheelchair user for much of his life because of a mining accident. He persevered through his difficulties to use his musical talent for the Lord, and surely experienced God’s peace. He was admitted to the Order of the Founder in 1951 in recognition of his excellent service.
WORDS: IVY MAWBY; MUSIC: GEORGE MARSHALL
S.A. SONG BOOK, 2015 EDITION, #677
REFERENCES: USAWEST.ORG; THE SALVATION ARMY MUSEUM – AUSTRALIA