Come, Ye Disconsolate; or, The End of an Era

When this blog was founded, I had several motives behind it. Some, I was very upfront about. A lot of it was an attempt to rekindle a love for poetry that I had lost. I needed a creative outlet. This fit those needs nicely.

However, rather than call it Unhymned, it would have been just as well to call it by a different name. Something like “ImPissedOffAtGodAndAmNotReadingMyBible.com”, or maybe “MyGriefIsHeavyAndINeedADumpingGround.net.”

Those really don’t roll off the tongue though, do they? So I ran with Unhymned. It works with the concept of taking hymns and turning them into something new. Sort of a deconstruction and reconstruction model. At the time, I think it’s the best thing I could have done. My grief was heavy, and I was mad at God. I struggled to even want to pray or read my Bible, but I knew that I couldn’t walk away from what I knew to be true. Sometimes, this was the only thing with which I was holding on.

Today, I can say that I’ve moved forward a lot. I’m not a train wreck anymore. I don’t cry constantly, and I’m really not shaking my fist in God’s face. You might say that things are looking up! I’m even reading my Bible again.

Last year, the hymns were the closest thing to the Bible I could tolerate. They were good for me, but they weren’t enough, and while I still enjoy them, they have not found a place in my routine. Frankly, they aren’t important enough to me to be the only source of inspiration. I’m not going to force it anymore. Effective immediately, the basic premise of Unhymned is being laid to rest.

But hey, this is a good thing. I’ve been forcing this thing, and it has been a bit limiting. I’ve got no qualms in admitting that the poetry that I slapped on the end of the post often had nothing to do with the post itself, and usually sucked anyhow. That’s okay. We’re not all poets. I know it. (Sorry for that. I had to do it.) That’s not to say that I’ll never try my hand at poetry again, but I’m not going to focus on it, either. If it can stand alone, fine. I just suspect that it has no legs.

Instead, this blog is going to become a lot less forced and a whole lot more like me. It will be primarily Christian, yet eclectic, humorous, and bordering on irreverent at times. There will be no order here. This should be fun.

Honestly, I can’t force myself to make this thing about hymnals and grief anymore. I’m tired of focusing on the hymnals, and I’m tired of slapping on the end of every post. It feels contrived and disingenuous. Also, I can’t focus on my grieving process, because I’ve paid my dues to that monster and I’m past it. Truthfully, it had to happen, and I’m glad that I’ve processed it. Dad would be proud.

So what now? Well, I’m not changing my name. I like Unhymned, and I’m still going to be using the hymns sometimes, so it’s fair. Besides, it sounds good.

Okay, now I am going to use an old hymn. I found one that works for me. It’s titled “Come, Ye Disconsolate” and spotted a couple of lines from it in an old book I was reading. What struck me most was this:

Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

Two things here. First, it’s true. Oh, it’s true!! And secondly, Crowder has clearly been inspired by this hymn in the writing of his current hit “Come As You Are.” This song is great, and it has also helped to get me through some of the darker days of grief. It only seems a fitting way to close this chapter.

With that, I’ll close with the original lyrics to “Come, Ye Disconsolate,” and I will not reinterpret them into some poetic disarrangement. The original is sufficient.

Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish,
Come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel.
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

Joy of the desolate, light of the straying,
Hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure!
Here speaks the Comforter, tenderly saying,
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot cure.

Here see the Bread of Life, see waters flowing
Forth from the throne of God, pure from above.
Come to the feast of love; come, ever knowing
Earth has no sorrow but heaven can remove.

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