It is through hymns that I often have the most emotional response to God, it happened the other day.
I know the hymn from the New Century Hymnal, which was used at the UCC church where I first returned to such places 11 years ago. Isaiah says that God sees us as precious and that mountains cry for joy when we return from far away. It is healing that happens along the way and I am in the mood to celebrate where my life has come to at this point in time. And if I was to celebrate the healing that destroys what keeps us from experiencing joy, peace, hope, and love.... I would want this hymn to be part of it.
The music is old. Beach Spring is a tune that comes from the Sacred Harp tradition, but the words by Ruth Duck are newer...
1. Healing river of the Spirit, bathe the wounds that living brings. Plunge our pain, our sin, our sadness deep beneath your sacred springs. Weary from the restless searching that has lured us from your side, we discover in your presence peace the world cannot provide.
2. Wellspring of the healing Spirit, stream that flows to bring release, as we gain our selves, our senses, may our lives reflect your peace. Grateful for the flood that heals us, may your church enact your grace. As we meet both friend and stranger, may we see our Savior's face.
3. Living stream that heals the nations, make us channels of your pow'r. All the world is torn by conflict; wars are raging at this hour. Saving Spirit, move among us, guide our winding human course. till we find our way together, flowing homeward to our Source.
I love this hymn and the healing power that inspired it.