Presence II

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I love the songs we sang in church when I was a girl. We still sing many of them. While I was writing about the blessing of God’s presence with us and the blessing of being present for other people, one of those songs came to mind.

Jessie Brown Pounds was the author. Jessie was born in 1861 in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. She was homeschooled. When Jessie was fifteen years old, she began to write poems for Christian periodicals and for Cleveland newspapers. She later wrote hymns. During her lifetime, she wrote almost 400.

Jessie Brown married minister John Pounds when she was thirty-five years old. Mrs. Pounds is also the author of “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere.” A women’s quartet sang that hymn at the funeral of President William McKinley.

Courtesy New York Public Library.

I’ve seen the name Jessie Brown Pounds in songbooks all my life. Finally, after all these years, I did a little research and learned this bit about her. This is her song that came to mind when I was thinking of Presence.

If the Name of the Savior Is Precious to You

If the name of the Savior is precious to you,
If His care has been constant and tender and true,
If the light of His presence has brightened your way,
O will you not tell of your gladness today?

Oh, will you not tell it today?
Will you not tell it today?
If the light of His presence has brightened your way,
Oh, will you not tell it today?

If your faith in the Savior has brought its reward,
If a strength you have found in the strength of your Lord,
If the hope of a rest in His palace is sweet,
O will you not, brother, the story repeat? [Refrain]

If the souls all around you are living in sin,
If the Master has told you to bid them come in,
If the sweet invitation they never have heard,
O will you not tell them the cheer-bringing word? [Refrain]

As the light of His presence brightens our way, I pray that we, too, will give the light of our presence to brighten the way of our families and others. As Jesus said:

You are the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14-16


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