There Is a Balm in Gilead (ELW 614)
There is a balm in Gilead
to make the wounded whole;
there is a balm in Gilead
to heal the sin-sick soul.
1 Sometimes I feel discouraged
and think my work’s in vain,
but then the Holy Spirit
revives my soul again. [Refrain]
2 If you cannot preach like Peter,
if you cannot pray like Paul,
you can tell the love of Jesus
and say, “He died for all.” [Refrain]
3 Don’t ever be discouraged,
for Jesus is your friend;
and if you lack for knowledge,
he’ll not refuse to lend. [Refrain]
“The Spitfire Grill” was a quirky little movie from the 1990’s. I highly recommend it. A young woman just released from prison, named “Percy,” comes to the small town of Gilead, Maine, drawn there by the picture on an old vacation brochure, hoping to start life anew. Her arrival is a disruption. She is a stranger who dares to insert herself into the town’s steady descent toward its own death.
The native inhabitants are wounded in unimaginable ways, as is Percy as well. The pain in the community is palpable, if veiled behind secret after secret. In a particularly poignant scene, Percy sits in a field overlooking the forest and sings the chorus of today’s hymn over and over, as if it were a mantra healing her own broken spirit: “There is a balm in Gilead…”
Sometimes that is all it takes, God present, the fragment of a tune and a few words of hope, to “heal a wounded soul.”
“Sometimes I feel discouraged, and think my works in vain, but then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again.” Come, Holy Spirit, for I am in need of your power and revival. Amen.