I’ve just spent two weeks on the edge of a Civil War.
I don’t how to describe it without using double negatives.
I ain’t never seen nothing like it.
It’s all right (sometimes) to use a double negative.
For emphasis. To catch the attention of a reader or listener.
My heart song*, How Firm a Foundation, uses a double, followed by a triple, negative on its final verse:
The soul that on Jesus has fully reposed
I will not, will not, desert to its foes.
That soul, though all hell should endeavour to shake,
I will never, no never, no never forsake.
-“How Firm a Foundation.”
*Do you have a heart song?
It’s the song that you lean on for comfort and guidance.
Words and music that you return to over and over.
Especially in times when your world is shaking.
What is your heart song? Use contact box at end of post to share your heart song.
As I said, I’ve just spent two weeks on the edge of a Civil War along the along the northern borders of Uganda.
First, we spent a week among our South Sudanese pastors and their wives.
Faithful couples who’ve come through their nation’s ongoing war.
They’re my heroes.
They’ve kept their faith intact in spite of tragedy and tribulation.
This was followed by four days in the Adjumani (Uganda) Refugee Camps.
Once again, we were surrounded by heroes.
Courageous South Sudanese of every tribe and tongue.
For the next several weeks, we’ll tell their stories.
There’s no way we can approach the eloquence of their own words and faces. That’s why we’ll try to use photos, audio, and even video.
I believe you’ll gain encouragement from their stories of God’s faithfulness in all things. About how that “Firm Foundation” is solid even when the world around us is shaking.
The first verse of How Firm . . . says it so well:
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said—
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
Thomas, a member of the Nuer tribe, was caught in Juba, South Sudan’s capital, when the fighting began. He hid out in a house for days, made it to the UN Compound, and finally to Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp.** He is now pastoring a new church there and attending Uganda Baptist Seminary.
Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.
** Much of the recent movie, “The Good Lie”, was filmed in Kakuma Camp.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not harm thee;
I only design Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
Then, there’s that triumphant final verse:
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.
How Firm a Foundation.
A strong hymn with a pentaultimate verse.
Replete with a double negative followed by a triple.
As they say where I come from, “There ain’t never nothing wrong with words like that.”
This is my current Life Soundtrack. The songs that have shaped my life. What’s on your list? (It must fit on a 80 minute CD.)