Tonight I rocked my frantic newborn to sleep with the song “I Need Thee Every Hour”. Actually I sang the only two lines from the chorus I could remember. I recently learned that a homemaker wrote the song. Since I have felt a kindred spirit with her, though she has long since past to glory. She has walked these trenches I now tread. And she sang out to the Lord Jesus whose name I plead over diapers, toddler tantrums, and colic. Though we did not inhabit the earth at the same time, she is my sister-in-arms and I stand grateful for the prayer she penned for the times my soul has only pleading.

The baby fell asleep, and then I was stuck. A too-early transfer out of my arms will send us back to square one. And square one is purple faced cries. Wikipedia kept me company while my baby snored into my shirt. 

Annie Hawks was a poet whose pastor recognized her gifting and encouraged her toward hymn writing. He set her hymns to music. He saw her gifts and encouraged her to disciple the church through hymns. He was a pastor and hymn writer himself so he knew the discipling power of song. One does not walk out of the church humming the sermon. You leave with the songs still in your heart. 

This thirty something mom of two cried over my newborn’s tears with a song I sang from that old blue Baptist Hymnal of my childhood. The only two lines I could recall still discipling me toward Christ when I had nothing left to give and two children who need me to keep giving. 

Don’t ask me what my childhood pastor preached. I’ve no idea.

I’ve seen much debate on the role of women in the church and the home. But I cherish the example of Annie Hawks and her pastor Rev. Dr. Robert Lowry: a pastor encouraged a woman to walk in her gifting for the good of the church and then partnered with her in that work. 

I need Thee every hour,
Most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine,
Can peace afford.
Every hour I need Thee!
O bless me now, Savior,
I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour,
Stay Thou near by;
Temptations lose their power,
When Thou art nigh.
I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee!
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour,
In joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide,
Or life is vain.
I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee!
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.