“Why, then, do I set before You an ordered account of so many things?
it’s certainly not through me that You know them.
But I’m stirring up love for You in myself and in those who read this so that we may all say,
great is the Lord and highly worthy to be praised.
I tell my story for love of Your love.”
St. Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
I often find myself wondering why it is people feel compelled to “blog.”
Why is it that ordinary people create a personal space,
out there someplace on the interweb, and then proceed to spend precious time writing
about whatever it is they opt to write about?
It really is a rather odd phenomenon.
My own personal story started with retirement.
I started my blog a little over 6 years ago, almost 9 months after I retired from a
lifetime of teaching high school.
I thought a blog made sense because I still had things I wanted to share, or more aptly,
things I wanted to teach.
And so that’s what I’ve decided… there is a wealth of people out there who want to share
and in essence, teach.
They want to teach about travel, food, cooking, health, books, music, art, politics, faith, religion,
or the lack thereof, photography, sports… you name it.
People feel compelled to share and “teach”
When I first started this blog, I touched on a bit of all of that.
I loved to travel.
I was a teacher.
I was an art teacher.
I was adopted.
I loved to cook.
I was a wife, a mother, a Christian…on and on it went.
Obviously a wealth of topics to share and teach about.
On one of my early posts, I wrote something about one of my most favorite hymns,
Veni Veni Emmanuel—or—Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel.
It is a typical hymn sung during the season of Advent.
I always preferred its original Latin context.
After that posting, out of the blue, I had a gentleman from Saskatchewan, Canada
comment about my post regarding the hymn.
It seems he was a retired minister who was in the process of building a blog about hymns
and their history.
He was a living wealth of knowledge.
His name was Robert Cottrill.
I thanked Robert for his comment and from that, a lovely friendship developed.
Robert would touch base, ever so often, via email—informing me about what he and
his wife were up to.
He shared about his son and his son’s family living in Mexico as missionaries and of
his pride in his young granddaughter being a budding artist. And he always included
photographs from around his home.
Snow when we were settling into heat, blooms when we were beginning our decline.
Robert usually posted a new hymn, along with its history, each Monday and I, in turn,
would read and click like to his post.
There wasn’t a great deal of generated likes on the history of hymns so Robert
was always thankful for my interest.
He emailed a few months back that he and his wife had moved from their home to
an assisted living community there in Saskatchewan.
He was upbeat and positive as he shared pictures of their new digs.
I noticed that for the past couple of Mondays, Robert hadn’t posted anything.
And then this morning, out of the blue, his site popped up on my reader with a disclaimer.
Robert’s son reported that after a short illness, his dad had gone home to be with the Lord.
Just like that, Robert was gone.
There has been what seems to be a great deal of loss in the blogging family as of late, and
Robert’s death is just one more peg in the loss column.
His son notes that the blog will be maintained as it offers a wealth of history for
any and all who have an interest in the development and history of Christian hymns.
The blogging world will miss Robert.
May his light, the light he reflected from his love of Jesus,
continue to shine on generations to come
Veni, Veni Emmanuel
Veni, veni, Emmanuel
captivum solve Israel,
qui gemit in exsilio,
privatus Dei Filio.
R: Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,
nascetur pro te Israel!
Veni, O Sapientia,
quae hic disponis omnia,
veni, viam prudentiae
ut doceas et gloriae.
Veni, veni, Adonai,
qui populo in Sinai
legem dedisti vertice
in maiestate gloriae.
Veni, O Iesse virgula,
ex hostis tuos ungula,
de specu tuos tartari
educ et antro barathri.
Veni, Clavis Davidica,
regna reclude caelica,
fac iter tutum superum,
et claude vias inferum.
Veni, veni O Oriens,
solare nos adveniens,
noctis depelle nebulas,
dirasque mortis tenebras.
Veni, veni, Rex Gentium,
veni, Redemptor omnium,
ut salvas tuos famulos
peccati sibi conscios.
I’m so glad that he had the foresight to give his son the access to the blog, and that it will continue to be maintained! What a thoughtful and wise man he was! Thank you for this beautiful tribute, dear Julie! ❤ ❤
Thanks Lynn— I didn’t hear from him often but he was such a kind man and I would always find fascinating nuggets about some of my favorite hymns when I read his offerings
I’ve been thinking about this post for the past couple of hours, or however long it’s been since I read it. You know, I would never have imagined how painful it could be to lose a friend whom you have never met face to face, until I became a blogger. I’ve lost several over the years and yes, the loss is real.
You have my sincere empathy. 💘
It’s really surreal almost— I didn’t interact with Robert as much I have or do with others but still considered him a friend— albeit one who was far off—in part because he was so wanting to share snippets of his world with me. I’ve made some very dear friends over the years on the blog— someone once said that God will have a special place in heaven for all the blogging friends to finally meet— I thought that great!
A special place in heaven for all the blogging friends to finally meet — lovely!
May the angels of the Lord have greeted him with hymns of joy as they guided him safely Home.
Amen Dawn Marie! May it be so!
I had four things go through my head for months. Give “it” away. Go where “they” are. “They” are on the internet. Write a blog. It refers to my writing, at least a Bible study that I have already posted. “They” remain the nameless people God guides in that direction. Everything else is just faith.
We come to teach
That is my favourite hymn as well. Sorry for the loss of your friend Julie. We influence each other’s lives in interesting ways.
I met him much like I met you — here.
A fellow Canadian— I didn’t know him well but he was always so excited and willing to share his faith and live if hymns— I didn’t know his denomination but I suspect it was liturgical based— hope all is well in Toronto — we’re hot as heck, still…