a poet, a bear, a moon-child-esoteric, a history geek, a writer and a woman of a certain age

Posts tagged ‘Catholic in the 50s’

Just As I Am

 Before anyone gets funny ideas about this post, let me preface by saying I was raised Roman Catholic in the ’50s. So Protestant churches and Protestant hymns were largely an unknown and untraveled country.  And in fact close to being forbidden [not technically, but socially if you take my meaning – when I went to a cousin’s wedding at a Lutheran church at age 8, I felt SURE the lightning bolts would come down on me any second]

I know my teachers during 16 years of parochial education, and especially the first eight of those years in grade school [no split between 6th grade and 5th, no junior high then] seemed to believe that if you weren’t Roman Catholic to the hilt, you were …well in a lot of trouble with the Old Man with the Long White Beard, ‘upstairs’.

BUT my parents were actually very open minded and listened to and watched various non-Catholic ministers and so forth. One was of course Billy Graham and this hymn that was so often used at his televised services has always felt just perfect to me… wonder why it doesn’t get more play these days.  To me it shows exactly what I was taught at home and by some other teachers, including the nuns and priests who taught me in high school:  that to G-d what and who we are matters NOTHING, only our turning to G-d matters.  I really love and cherish that idea still. Image

 

 

Just as I am, without one plea,

      but that thy blood was shed for me,

      and that thou bidst me come to thee,

      O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 

2.      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.

 

3.      Just as I am, though tossed about

      with many a conflict, many a doubt,

      fightings and fears within, without,

      O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 

4.      Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;

      sight, riches, healing of the mind,

      yea, all I need in thee to find,

      O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 

5.      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.

 

6.      Just as I am, thy love unknown

      hath broken every barrier down;

      now, to be thine, yea thine alone,

      O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 

Text: Charlotte Elliott, 1789-1871 
Music: William B. Bradbury, 1816-1868 
Tune: WOODWORTH, Meter: LM