The first line of a hymn from my childhood is in my heart and mind.
“Abide With me; fast falls the eventide;
I know that it may sound old-fashioned, but I also feel the wisdom and power in the words. It is really the spiritual solution to absolutely every kind of darkness, every problem, every concern. It is asking the Lord (the Law and the Love) to stay with us.
The word abide means to stay, or remain, or even tarry.
The song was inspired by scripture, Luke 24:29. It was after Jesus resurrection and the disciples were begging Jesus to stay with them.
Knowing that the Christ consciousness is the consciousness of oneness, of infinite possibilities, peace, comfort and hope, we begin to understand why this old hymn was so popular at funerals in mid 20th century. When we feel abandoned or left behind, passed over or grief-stricken, we need God’s help. The answer is always to turn to God. When we do, the presence embraces us and gives of Itself – peace, comfort, love.
Today I am grieving the passing of our dear friend Rev. Michael DiFebo. I know with absolute certainty that Rev. Michael lives on and lives better where he is now. And I also know that for his friends and family, hope, comfort and peace are desperately needed. None of us were ready to let him go.He was a vibrant, loving, gregarious bigger-than-life man of faith. I know that Rev. Michael is now fully abiding in God. I know the answer for all of us left behind, the answer is to ask God to “stay with us.”
You are probably wondering why I would phrase it that way. God does not have to be coaxed to stay with us. God cannot abandon us, for It is in us, responding to us, whether or not we believe in God. However, the simple act of asking for God’s help opens the floodgates of love, peace and comfort (that were there all along.) It opens our receptiveness to God’s love.
So the key is to keep God, Divine Mind, eternal Loving-Kindness,foremost in our minds and hearts. Then the “helpless’ become the “helped.”
I am reminded of singing in the junior choir in the United Church (of Canada) in my childhood home of Conquest, Saskatchewan. Of course I was a school girl then. I didn’t understand death because I didn’t understand the nature of life. But now those lyrics are deeply meaningful to me. I know I am uplifted when I turn to God and abide in God’s love.
Below is an instrumental version by James Last.