I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry

By: Steve Negley

Posted: March 10, 2015

Category: Daily Devotional

I have to admit that when the new Presbyterian hymnal, Glory to God, was ready for publication a couple of years ago, I was ready to adopt it. I had grown a little bored in less than twenty years with the hymns and songs that were offered in the previous hymnal. And Glory to God has provided some wonderful options for our singing on Sunday mornings. One of my new favorites from its pages is the hymn I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry. The music is beautiful and I feel easy to sing, and the words are at the same time inspiring and soothing:

I was there to hear your borning cry, I’ll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized, to see your life unfold.
I was there when you were but a child, with a faith to suit you well;
In a blaze of light you wandered off to find where demons dwell.

When you heard the wonder of the Word I was there to cheer you on;
You were raised to praise the living Lord, to whom you now belong.
If you find someone to share your time and you join your hearts as one,
I’ll be there to make your verses rhyme from dusk ‘till rising sun.

In the middle ages of your life, not too old, no longer young,
I’ll be there to guide you through the night, complete what I’ve begun.
When the evening gently closes in, and you shut your weary eyes,
I’ll be there as I have always been with just one more surprise.

I was there to hear your borning cry, I’ll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized, to see your life unfold.

It so comforting to think about how God has been with us each and every day of our lives, and that God will be there with love and care (and one more surprise) when our earthly days are done. I am drawn to this hymn in the same manner that I find myself often returning to Psalm 139. When the words are done, I am strangely content.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely.You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.

For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well. My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.

(Psalm 139)


Thank you God for promising to be there for my borning cry, and my final sigh, and each breath in between. You care makes life not only possible but also good. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.