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(A VISION FOR CHRISTIAN SONG, by Ken Bible; p.46)

Treasure the Past

Here in my office are two old harmonicas. My great grandfather, William Asbury Graves, used to

play them in his little church in Chariton, Iowa. As a hymn writer, I treasure these reminders of

my musical heritage.

The harmonicas were passed on to me through my Uncle Melvin. He served in the U.S. Navy in

World War II. On January 5, 1945, his ship was struck by a kamikaze plane and sank within an

hour. He was picked up by another ship, which was then also sunk by a kamikaze plane. Within

24 hours, Uncle Melvin had had two ships blown from beneath him.

In the predawn darkness he floated and swam, sustained by a life jacket. I can only imagine the

fears that swirled around him in those hours. But old hymns came to mind, and he began to

sing. Imagine the deep meaning of these prayers as they welled up in his heart:

My Faith looks up to Thee,

Thou Lamb of Calvary,

Savior divine!

Now hear me while I pray;

Take all my guilt away.

  • O

    let me from this day

Be wholly Thine!

May thy rich grace impart

Strength to my fainting heart,

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