O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Saviour,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there.
Over us sin no more hath dominion,
For more than conqu’rors we are!
His word shall not fail you – He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well;
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
Although this lovely song is not in the Salvation Army’s 1987 Song Book, and only its chorus is in the new, 2015 edition, the entire song can be found in the new Youth Song Book. It is yet another hymn created by someone who knew heartache and trouble. Helen Lemmel was born in England in 1863. Her father was a Wesleyan minister. The family emigrated to the United States when Helen was a child. Helen loved music and spent considerable time studying vocal music, including a period in Germany. She married a wealthy European man, who left her, sadly, when she became blind. When she was fifty-five years old, she heard the following statement: So then, turn your eyes upon Him, look full into his face and you will find that the things of earth will acquire a strange new dimness. Helen said that she stood still, and the chorus as we know it was already singing itself within her. She wrote the verses in the same week.the chorus as we know it was already singing itself within her Click To Tweet
Paul and Kathryn Goins were good friends of Helen in Seattle in the later years of her life. At this point she was nearly destitute, living on government assistance in a sparse bedroom, yet always glad to say she was “doing well in the things that count.” She was a lively person with a good sense of humour, and was always writing hymns. She would call Paul Goins at all hours to write down a song for her before she forgot the words! Helen had a small keyboard in her room, where she would play, sing and cry. But she would say, “One day God is going to bless me with a great Heavenly keyboard. I can hardly wait!” She wrote nearly 500 hymns, and died in Seattle in 1961, days before her 98th birthday. Perhaps her Heavenly birthday present was that new keyboard!Perhaps her Heavenly birthday present was that new keyboard! Click To Tweet
WORDS AND MUSIC: HELEN LEMMEL
S.A. SONG BOOK, 2015 EDITION, #445 (CHORUS ONLY) YOUTH SONG BOOK # 83
REFERENCE: MORGAN, ROBERT J., THEN SINGS MY SOUL