Who needs extraordinary ordinary inspiration, ordinary inspiration or even any inspiration?Most of us are getting on with our lives, making the most of the many opportunities 21st-century living provides. That is until unexpected events demand our attention. Tragic events may drive us to despair. Then, the seemingly smallest event from the past can become the spark that leads us back.
19th-Century Poet Annie Sherwood
Inspiration was nothing particularly unusual in the life of 19th-century poet Annie Sherwood. She wrote her first poems in early childhood, and was a published poet by the age of 14. Her prosperous parents taught her Christian values and encouraged her talents.The family moved to Brooklyn, New York, where she met her husband Charles Hawkes, who became a successful business executive. Taking the last name of her husband, Annie Sherwood Hawkes continued to write poetry as a part of her happy life.
I Need Thee Every Hour
Annie Sherwood Hawkes was taking care of housework in her home. Suddenly, an overwhelming sense of a need for total reliance on Jesus in every aspect of her life, struck her. Such were the rather mundane circumstances leading to the inspiration culminating in her writing the hymn I Need Thee Every Hour.
Extraordinary Ordinary Inspiration
Thirty years later, at the death of her husband, she finally understood the comforting power of her inspired hymn. “I did not understand at first why this hymn had touched the great throbbing heart of humanity. It was not until long after, when the shadow fell over my way, the shadow of a great loss, that I understood something of the comforting power in the words which I had been permitted to give out to others in my hour of sweet serenity and peace.” Her "ordinary" inspiration had become "extraordinary."
Such is the power of traditional hymns to connect us and to provide "extraordinary" inspiration when we most need it.