Whispering, Titus Chu
#208 in Songs and Hymns of Life
Whispering, the first hymn we will cover in this author’s series, exemplifies some features common to many of Brother Titus’ hymns and that are key to what makes them special and memorable. These features are that it is a delicate, sincere and personal prayer to the Lord from the inner heart of a seeker swept up in the sweetness of the Lord’s presence. Please sing along with the recording below.
Oh, do draw me, dearest Lord,
I will follow close to You.
You’re so full, so boundless, Lord;
More than I could hope to know.
Like a pretty henna flower
Blooming in the barren field;
As the myrrh with fragrance sweet
Deeply in my heart concealed.
Oh, do hear my whisper, Lord,
There’s no other Lord but You.
As Your riches I partake,
In Your life, mature I’ll be.
Following its opening line, ‘Oh, do draw me, dearest Lord’, comes the assurance ‘I will follow close to You.’ What ties these lines together is the seeker’s love, caught in wonder at the sight of the ‘so full, so boundless Lord’ Jesus. In this prayer, ‘Oh, do draw me, dearest Lord,’ are two sides of our relationship with the Lord. The Lord draws near to those who draw near to Him (James 4:8). Simply beginning with this prayer conveys a desire to be closer to the Lord. But curiously, the prayer is not expressly a desire to be closer to the Lord, but for the Lord to draw the singer! Have you ever prayed for the Lord to draw out your heart to His? Here, there is both the desire to draw near and the recognition that our continued love for Him is all the Lord’s mercy. As Jesus said, ‘no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.’ (John 6:44a) It is only by His grace in drawing us that we truly desire His presence.
The tune of this hymn perfectly matches the private, whispered tone of the words. And as the text shifts to describing the Lord’s beauty in simile, the tune moves to a passionate minor key. The lines depict us trekking through a barren field. All may look dry and bleak with little hope of change. Then around a bend in the path—a flash of pink caught in the sunlight! A beautiful henna flower, like the one pictured above, brings encouragement on our weary trek. Our Lord’s whisper in our spirit is often like this. All may be tired. All may be dreary; but Christ’s sweet voice, ‘come, spend time with Me!’ strengthens us, refreshes us and gives meaning to our narrow path.
Similarly, the myrrh is a costly fragrance but in the Bible it often accompanies burials and it represents Christ’s experience of the cross. When the Spirit would apply this ‘myrrh’ to us for our growth, much that transpires is better left deeply concealed just between us and the Lord. He sees us with a clarity beyond the sun, and as we commune with Him, we are allowed glimpses of how much we need to be terminated, buried, for the Lord’s new life to come forth from us. These lessons are not always meant to be proclaimed boldly in a testimony meeting, but we should allow the Lord to develop in us a rich reserve of private experiences shared only with Him.
In closing, the hymn returns to the opening major key and tune. Our prayer continues, beseeching the Lord to hear our prayer. The last lines tie together the thoughts of the hymn. The desire and experiences that the hymn walks through are a rich partaking of the Divine Nature. This is our privilege as believers. And it is in this life of experiencing Christ’s presence and virtues that causes us to grow unto a maturity fit to be part of His Bride.
I hope your heart joins in the sway of this song. It is a prayer for His presence, a song listening for His singing. This sort of delicate sentiment is essential for every Christian’s healthy growth, and we should have these exchanges with Him often. Songs like this are great to have ‘in our back pocket,’ memorized to sing at all moments in the day. Whether we are up with the sunrise, taking a coffee break at work, or walking a fussy baby late in the night, the Lord can whisper the opening of this song to us, drawing us into a special moment with Him. These are precious moments with the Lord. And it is moments like these, full of His tender fragrance, that help us entrust ourselves to Him life-long. Join Him in whispering this song together.
When has the Lord showed up to you in the middle of life’s barren fields? Have you experienced the Lord drawing you to have a special moment with Him? Are there other songs like this that you keep in your back pocket?