Healing of Tsunami Wounds through Song

While aid money, food, and other provisions try to bring healing to the millions of people who have lost nearly everything in the tsunami, United Methodists have decided to create hymns to reach the unreachable deep wounds.

"Hymns help us to pray when we cannot pray for ourselves," says DeanMcIntyre, director of music resources for the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. "That the creative process can be put to use to allow them some personal healing and insight … it transcends the personal experience and becomes explicable to us all."

Much like in the time of the Sept. 11 attack, musical scores have been coming in as means of expression and healing.

"With more persons writing hymns these days and the ability of the Internet to disseminate them widely, we will see this happen more when human events demand new expressions of our grief, pain or joy," said David L. Bone, executive director of the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts.

One of the hymns, given the name "When Innocence is Fractured," was written by the Rev. Gareth Hill days after the tsunami hit.

"As well as being only too aware of the horror that the tsunami confronted us with, I wanted to say something positive for Christians ... to make some kind of declaration that the waves couldn't sweep away faith," says Hill.

Several other ministers and United Methodist members, some being first-time hymn writers, were deeply moved to write hymns to empathize with people as well as express hope.

"In Christ our souls take refuge, though not to hide from truth; We face each anguished question with faith, if not with proof. We hear his wistful question, 'And will you leave me, too?' Though all the world should crumble, we hope, O Christ, in you," written in Hill's hymn.