Dr. Gayle takes my favorite hymn, destroys it in fine fashion, and then brings it around again…
Sunday I visited a friend’s church, where we sang the above. Ironically, for being the sort of visionary petition that it seems to aspire to call God Himself to being, it’s not a very clear text, is it?
The English is outdated. The metaphors are mixed. The categories are contradictory. The penultimate line above has one person, one male person only, identifying with God, when a larger number of us including males and females is singing. The math, down to the last number, is all wrong. The meanings are many. The phrasing is unnatural. The ESL learners are struggling. And the children surely aren’t getting much of anything.
Read his entire post, if you might, but I do believe that sometimes, ambiguity is needed because it makes us search and hopefully affirm that sometimes, just sometimes, it’s okay not to understand or to know everything.
It’s about translation, I know, but sometimes, don’t you just enjoy surrendering to the ambiguities of life?
Oh, and the Irish that he brings in simply made my day.