Sunday, January 1, 2012

By Kindly Powers Surrounded - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Written to send home to his fiance, family, and friends in a Gestapo cellar prison four months before his execution. 

By kindly powers surrounded, peaceful and true,
wonderfully protected with consolation dear,
safely, I dwell with you this whole day through,
and surely into another year.

Though from the old our hearts are still in pain,
while evil days oppress with burdens still,
Lord, give to our frightened souls again,
salvation and thy promises fulfill.

And shouldst thou offer us the bitter cup, resembling
sorrow, filled to the brim and overflowing,
we will receive it thankfully, without trembling,
from thy hand, so good and ever-loving.

But if it be thy will again to give
joy of this world and bright sunshine,
then in our minds we will past times relive
and all our days be wholly thine.

Let candles burn, both warm and bright,
which to our darkness thou has brought,
and, if that can be, bring us together in the light,
thy light shines in the night unsought.

When we are wrapped in silence most profound,
may we hear that song most fully raised
from all the unseen world that lies around
and thou art by all thy children praised.

By kindly powers protected wonderfully,
confident, we wait for come what may.
Night and morning, God is by us, faithfully
and surely at each new born day.


Jennifer said...

Beautiful. I just got the book Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas and this post makes me want to read it even more.

Hana - Marmota said...

I have always loved this, as a song translated to Czech, with music from a Czech pastor (who composed many songs we sing now on youth meetings). It's one of the most beautiful, serene songs I know. And now I can see that, clearly, both the translations must be very close to the original, because the Czech and the English words are very similar.