And to this rock I’m clinging

How can a song make you cry and sing at the same time?

There have been many moments in my life when lyrics in songs speak to me when I have no other way of expressing myself.  A few months ago, the Sunday after we found out about our miracle to be exact, this song was sung as the closing hymn.  It was a different version, a little more upbeat with a gospel flair a la our parish, but the words remain the same.

The juxtaposition of the desolate lyrics filled with pain and strife combined with the refrain, How can I keep from singing? is almost haunting in this version.  It feels like a will of the heart almost, one of those rhetorical questions that you say to make yourself believe, rather than saying it because you believe.  I cried that whole exit procession that day at mass.  How can I keep from singing?  Oh, I’ll tell how you how I’ve kept and been darn good at keeping from singing.  I was getting really good at keeping from singing, for in my immediate scope, nothing was worth singing about.  But then that day, that amazing day I had the best news in the world and everything horrible in the world equally melted around me the day I could sing and sing and sing, I realized my fickleness.  I cried as I tried to sing about how all I wanted to do was sing.  Oh the irony.  Because even then, it wasn’t true, I felt so guilty that I couldn’t sing before and it was only then in my moment I’d waited for for so long.

How I wish I could be simple and faithful and true and really live the words of this song.


No storm can shake my inmost calm, while to that rock I’m clinging

Its sounds an echo in my soul, how can I keep from singing?


6 thoughts on “And to this rock I’m clinging

  1. Its such a beautiful song. Many a time I’ve cried as words have hit me during the songs sung at Mass … and this song is no exception. Praise be to God for speaking to us through music!

  2. I’ve had some of those same thoughts, this past month especially, while I’ve sat in church and sung Thanksgiving and Advent songs louder than I have for a long time. And then when I’ve paused to reflect, I’ve thought about how hypocritical I am. How one thing changes in my circumstances, and now all of a sudden I’m able to sing out again…when I should have been singing all along. I get you on this one!

  3. Great insights. Oh how I wish no storm could shake my inmost calm! It barely takes a light rain and I’ve lost it.

    When I was in the middle of infertility, though, I always told myself that if I was ever blessed with children, that I shouldn’t look back on that time and be hard on my former self. Yes, I could’ve handled it a LOT better, you know, like how I imagine someone like St. Therese would’ve handled it. But during that time, I just felt like I could barely breathe and I knew my future joyful self would soon forget what that felt like. So don’t be too hard on yourself! :)

  4. That has always been one of my favorite songs! And yes I’ve definitely cried while singing it now that I’m in this subfertile world. It’s not the only one, either. At my college homecoming Mass this year – where I was singing in the choir! – I started weeping in the middle of Come to the Water. Weeping in front of hundreds of people. I don’t know what it is about music that makes it reach a deeper place in me than any other form of prayer.

  5. I felt the same way…guilty that I hadn’t been more trusting, more faithful. I agree with AYWH though…I remember those days where just getting through it was all I could do. She’s right, don’t be too hard on yourself.

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