Thursday, August 21, 2008
It Is Well With My Soul: A Family History In Song And Images
I don't often delve into certain topics on this blog, having been reared with the admonition not to discuss religion or politics with strangers. But even without looking at the story of Horatio Spafford through the lens of religion, one must be struck in amazement at how a man beset with such troubles and hardships could live a life being better, not bitter.
My genea-blogging colleague Terry Thornton at Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississipi has already gone into much detail about Spafford and how the death of his son, the Great Chicago Fire and the shipwreck which took his four remaining daughters inspired, if that is the appropriate word, the lyrics to the hymn It Is Well With My Soul.
I never heard this song growing up since it wasn't part of the musical liturgy at the Catholic church I attended. It wasn't until I was exploring various Protestant denominations while in my 20's that I came to learn and love this hymn, especially the first verse.
Imagine my surprise when I came across a music video of The Innocence Mission's version of It Is Well With My Soul which was produced by Bluefish TV. Not only does it convey the story of Spafford's life but it is such a well produced piece of family history condensed in a less-than three minute video. If I could only condense the stories of my family and ancestors in such a beautifully produced format!
I place this video right up there with John Catching's version of the hymn and look at it when I know I need to be better, and not bitter.