Today on Bellshill Salvation Army Facebook and website I shared some details about one of my favourite band pieces – Here what I shared.
Music can stir many emotions in us: anger, pity, upset, humbling, excitement, happiness, love…to mention just a few. Those emotions are one of the main reasons I think so many of us like listening to music, as no matter how we feel, we can always find some music to suit our mood and our emotions. I guess that’s why I have lots of favourite pieces of music, rather than just one!
I’ve chosen to share with you one particular piece of music that for many years has stirred my emotions and pulled at my heart-strings every time I listen to it, or play it. The piece of music I refer to is one written a number of years ago by Wilfred Heaton, entitled ‘Just As I Am’.
Here’s the background to why ‘Just As I Am’ is one of my favourite band pieces.
My gran and grandfather were two of the very first Salvationists at Rutherglen Citadel Salvation Army. My grandfather was the first Songster Leader, holding that position for many years.
My gran didn’t have the easiest of lives; my grandfather dying suddenly in his fifties and then, every mother’s nightmare, one of her daughters died. Despite all this, my gran was one of the most positive and loving people I have ever known.
When I was young, I used to sit with gran in some of the meetings. I remember gran was always one of the first to rise to her feet whenever opportunity was given for testimonies. She would testify about what God was doing in her life, the blessings she had received, and thank God for accepting her just as she was. It was her testimony that God accepted her just as she was, that has always stuck with me. I guess the band must have played ‘Just As I Am’ at those times as well, as I have always associated that piece of music with gran, and her testimony.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
Gran was a great example of a Christian and a Salvationist. I am grateful for the influence she had on my life, and for always helping me to remember that God accepts me, with all my faults and failings, just as I am.
Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come! I come! Just as I am, and waiting not To rid my soul of one dark blot; To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, though tossed about With many a conflict, many a doubt; Fightings within, and fears without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; Sight, riches, healing of the mind; Yes, all I need, in Thee to find, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; Because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come! Just as I am, Thy love unknown Has broken every barrier down; Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come!