Saturday, July 28, 2018

“It is Well with my Soul” for my mother and step-father

The song "It Is Well With My Soul" was written by the successful Christian lawyer Horatio Gates Spafford. His only son died at age 4 in 1871. In 1872, the great Chicago fire wiped out his vast estate, made from a successful legal career. In 1873 he sent his wife & 4 daughters over to Europe on a summer trip on the ill-fated SS Ville du Havre. Since he had a lot of work to do, he planned to follow them later. The Ship sank and he lost his 4 daughters with the wife being the only survivor. She sent him a famous telegram which simply read, "SAVED ALONE...." On his return home, his Law firm was burned down and the insurance company refused to pay him. They said "It's an Act of God". He had no money to pay for his house and no work, he also lost his house. Then while sitting and thinking what's happening to him, being a spiritual person, he wrote a song - "Whatever, my Lord, You have taught me to say - It is well, it is well with my soul". (Shared by Claude Schroeder on Facebook, June 18, 2018). In doing further research on the ancestry of H. G. Spafford, I noticed a common ancestor with my step-father Donald Lee Craine. This chart shows that cousin connection.

My mother and stepfather, pictured below, would be happy to see this cousin connection. They surely both sang this song, as they sang many duets in their Baptist church throughout their marriage. I can imagine my mother, Ruby Flanders Craine, playing this by ear on the piano, as her talent allowed her to do so often.
Ruby & Don


Diane Gould Hall said...

I have always loved that song. But, I never knew the horribly sad story behind it. Thank you for sharing.

Damaris Fish said...

1 When peace like a river attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
"It is well, it is well with my soul."

Refrain (may be sung after final stanza only):
It is well with my soul;
it is well, it is well with my soul.

2 Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
let this blest assurance control:
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and has shed his own blood for my soul. Refrain

3 My sin oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
my sin, not in part, but the whole,
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more;
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! Refrain

4 O Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
the trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend;
even so, it is well with my soul. Refrain

Psalter Hymnal, (Gray)