Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Heavenly Choir

While traveling in a convoy in a vulnerable Humvee today, I felt a peace I haven't felt before. Sometimes we can feel when the Lord reaches down and gives us a little boost, providing a sense of peace and comfort that is literally not of this world.

Our road trip took us from [redacted] to [redacted]. Johnny was killed here a few months ago when his Humvvee was hit by a roadside bomb. I think of him often and regret not being able to attend his funeral held at the Arlington National Cemetery.

Due to reasons beyond my control, a great amount of necessary things were missing. In short, I wasn't prepared and I felt terribly stressed because of it.

While we turned the corner exiting out of the gate, First Sergeant Rodriguez, who was driving the Humvee, said a silent prayer, and then made the sign of the cross by touching his forehead and both shoulders. Though we worship differently, I had prayed quietly too just before he did, and I remembered all of those back home praying for me and the other military service members here.

It was at this point that the second verse of one of the hymns beautifully sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir came to my mind, subconsciously at first. Only later did I hear the words and feel the powerful sermon which stemmed from doing as the Apostle Paul admonished, to "[Speak] to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:19).

These are the words I heard and felt that offered “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7):

Thru the valley and shadow of death though I stray,
Since thou art my Guardian, no evil I fear.
Thy rod shall defend me, thy staff be my stay.
No harm can befall with my Comforter near.
No harm can befall with my Comforter near.

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