It is well with my Soul, written by Horatio Spafford in 1873, is a song and inspirational story worth reflecting upon…
Horatio was a prominent Chicago lawyer and abolishionist. In 1870 he lost his 4 year old son to pneumonia. The next year the famous Chicago fire nearly ruined him financially. In 1873 he decided the family needed a vacation and went big. He would take them to England but as so often happens, work got in the way. At the last minute he sends his wife and 4 daughters on ahead planning to join them shortly.
The steamship Ville du Havre, on which his loved ones traveled, would strike another ship in the middle of night and sink in a mere twelve minutes. His wife was his family’s sole survivor. Grief stricken upon hearing the news, Horatio immediately left to join his wife in Wales. When his ship passed over the spot where his daughters had died, the captain told him so. As the story goes he began to compose the hymn for which he is now known, It is Well With My Soul. Amazing to think a grieving heart could be so full of hope and write such words. Amazing.
Amazing grace. Amazing faith.
My mind transported me back to 1979 and a gravesite outside Dayton, Ohio. I gathered with nearly my entire Sammy Morris Dorm (Taylor University) brothers and mourned the loss of our friend, Jimmy Wheeler. Jimmy lived in the room next to Barry and me. He was the leader of our “Brotherhood” as the floor was called and still is. Full of life the year before and then gone in six months from colon cancer. My 20 year old soul could not make sense of death so near from someone so full of life. Wrecked my then very juvenile worldview. I remember standing and singing that cold, damp day in 1979. I’m not much of a singer, mind you. That day, however, I sang without fear of how it sounded. I sang for all I was worth. The song of course – It is well with my Soul.
I never knew the full story behind it until today. You can be well even when you are not. It can be well even when it’s not. Horatio’s chorus, kinda miraculously, can ring true, friend. What do you believe? Slow down. Reflect. Write.
Live hard. Love harder. We miss you, Joy & Haney. It is well…