St Mary's, Dalton: Heaven above is Softer Blue

If ever you take pictures of your home in order to sell it, always wait for a sunny day. It makes the house look far happier and more pleasant than if you photograph it on a dull, wet afternoon. This year I visited St Mary's Church in South Dalton, in Yorkshire's East Riding. On the way in, it was dull and miserable. By the time we departed, it was bathed in glorious sunshine. What a difference the sun makes. 

Psalm 19:4 says Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

When one becomes a Christian, and we see things in the light of Christ, even suffering and pain can appear beautiful. Death is the lovely means by which our Lover calls us home and want is the means by which we learn to depend on Him. The hymn writer of Loved with Everlasting Love, George Robinson, puts it thus:
Heaven above is softer blue,
Earth around is sweeter green;
Something lives in every hue
Christless eyes have never seen:
Birds with gladder songs o’erflow,
Flow’rs with deeper beauties shine,
Since I know, as now I know,
I am His, and He is mine.

Things that once were wild alarms
Cannot now disturb my rest;
Closed in everlasting arms,
Pillowed on the loving breast.
Oh, to lie forever here,
Doubt and care and self resign,
While He whispers in my ear,
I am His, and He is mine.


His forever, only His:
Who the Lord and me shall part?
Ah, with what a rest of bliss
Christ can fill the loving heart.
Heaven and earth may fade and flee,
Firstborn light in gloom decline;
But, while God and I shall be,
I am His, and He is mine.

You can hear it played here: .