Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Opa's verse

(Translation further down.)

About memories:  in Germany, we had the habit of keeping "poetry books", people would write into your book a verse or any sort and perhaps draw a picture.  With my SS and VBS classes, I usually also worked on similar books, including morning and evening prayers, hymns and their friends' and family's favorites.  My god-children have books like these. 

This is the page my Dad wrote when he could still write decently.  Parksons' made things worse for him not too long after this.  He would always use this same Psalm verse when dedicating anything.  I have the same written by him into my hymnbook.  Some of the other grandchildren might want to copy this page for themselves.

My Dad knew many, many songs, poems and verses by heart.  As he was aging he seemed to come up with more and more digging deeper in that well.  After the war, there were no books for the schools.  They children spent ages memorizing things.  I head the same story from other post-war school children.  Memorizing, memorizing and more memorizing of poetry.

You can see a photo of my Dad a couple of post back, getting "injected" by the toddler Stefan.  

This is what his verse page says:
"Commit your way to the Lord;  trust in him and he will do it." Psalm 37:5.   (He capitalized in HIM.)
Then he talks about how Paul Gerhard wrote the hymn, that has each verse begin sequentially with the words from this verse, i.e., the first verse begins with "Befiehl du" and the second verse begins with "dein"... (I don't know what that artistic form would be called.) 

We have a version of this in the LSB now:  #754, "Entrust Your Days and Burdens."

He signs it:  "Your Grandpa from Europe."

In looking up the Psalm I note the context:

"Commit your way to the LORD;  trust in him and he will do this:  He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;  do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. 
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;  do not fret--it leads only to evil."

He was indeed not a fretful man, generally happy, calm and gentle.

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