Caught in the eye of a storm

I grew up along the eastern coast of the U.S. on the shores of North Carolina. I am familiar with the power of storms like Sandy whose winds and waters now threaten the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern region. Many of us offer prayers for those caught in the eye of this storm.  This morning’s news brings a report of the sinking of the HMS Bounty, a tall ship replica of the famous ship of the past.

According to early news reports, the Bounty was attempting to skirt the storm at sea but engine trouble and weather conditions have made this decision a fateful one since 2 crew members are now missing and a majestic tall ship is lost to the deep.

It is on occasions such as this, as sailors and residents along the path of this hurricane prepare and endure the worst that I am reminded of the hymn penned in 1861, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save.”  This hymn has become the Navy hymn.

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm has bound the restless wave,
Who bade the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Savior, whose almighty word
The wind and waves submissive heard,
Who walked upon the foaming deep,
And calm amid its rage did sleep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Holy Spirit, who did brood
Upon the chaos wild and rude,
And bade its angry tumult cease,
And gave, for fierce confusion, peace;
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Trinity of love and power,
All travelers guard in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them where so e’er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad praise from air and land and sea.

May God protect all who face the fierce winds and waves of this storm.


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