A couple of times recently I have encountered the story of Charles A. Tindley (1851-1933) and reference to some of his hymns. When Robert Smith recently spoke at Union he briefly told the story of Tindley, the son of former slaves who taught himself to read and write, put himself through school while working as a church janitor, and later became pastor of that same church. This week Russ Pflasterer led chapel in singing a song by Tindley.
It is apparent that Tindley knew what it meant to persevere, and as I searched though hymns written by Tindley I discovered that perseverance was a common theme. I particularly liked his song, “Some Day,” which I think is a powerful reflection on the necessity of perseverance and the hope which sustains us. The words are below. May the help us to persevere faithfully.
Beams of Heaven, as I go,
Through this wilderness below,
Guide my feet in peaceful ways,
Turn my midnights into days;
When in the darkness I would grope,
Faith always sees a star of hope,
And soon from all life’s grief and danger,
I shall be free some day.
I do not know how long ’twill be,
Nor what the future holds for me,
But this I know, if Jesus leads me,
I shall get home some day.
Oftentimes my sky is clear,
Joy abounds without a tear,
Though a day so bright begun,
Clouds may hide tomorrow’s sun;
There’ll be a day that’s always bright,
A day that never yields to night,
And in its light the streets of glory
I shall behold some day.
Harder yet may be the fight,
Right may often yield to might,
Wickedness awhile may reign,
Satan’s cause may seem to gain,
There is a God that rules above,
With hand of power and heart of love,
If I am right, He’ll fight my battle,
I shall have peace some day.
Burdens now may crush me down,
Disappointments all around,
Troubles speak in mournful sigh,
Sorrow through a tear stained eye;
There is a world where pleasure reigns,
No mourning soul shall roam its plains,
And to that land of peace and glory
I want to go some day.
– Charles A. Tindley, 1906