A resident of Belmont, Massachusetts, I’m currently under police orders to stay inside my house until further notice. This morning, about a mile away from where I live, a rapid-fire shootout erupted between the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing case and several law enforcement officers. One of the suspects died as a result, and the other is at large and still armed, and being pursued by hundreds of local, state, and federal police officers and special agents. The public transportation system has been shut down for the day, and most buildings in the Greater Boston area are in lockdown. Everyone’s on edge waiting to see what will come of all this. And everyone’s asking a lot of questions.
Most of the beseeching right now is for FACTS. We want to know what happened in the early hours of this morning, what the suspects’ motives were, what leads the police are following, and so on. We want understanding. We want catharsis. But the question that isn’t being asked on the news coverage is: In the midst of all this chaos, where can I turn for peace?
The hymn below voices this very timely question, as well as a series of others. The lyrics speak so directly to my current feelings—anger, confusion, frustration, sadness, restlessness—that I wanted to share them. If you’re feeling something similar, I would encourage you to just pile up all those feelings on God, and let him be your answer right now, your solace and rest. So many families are in Gethsemane today, experiencing the agony of killed or wounded loved ones, or of a loved one on the run. We’re reaching out for understanding, asking, “Why?” I pray that God will reach us in our reaching, in a gentle, private way, and refocus our hearts and minds on his promises.
“Where Can I Turn for Peace?” was written in 1971, with text by Emma Lou Thayne and music by Joleen G. Meredith. The recording below is by The Lower Lights. (If you do not have Spotify, you can listen to the song on YouTube.)
Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart,
Searching my soul?
Where, when my aching grows,
Where when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.
He answers privately,
Reaches my reaching,
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind,
Love without end.