It Is Well
Whit is in his office, listening to a tape of his church choir singing “It Is Well with My Soul.” Lucy enters and comments on how pretty the song is. Whit agrees that it’s a wonderful piece. He adds that the church has a rich tradition of hymns that are now almost forgotten. Whit and Lucy listen to part of a verse for a moment, then Lucy comments on how inspirational and poetic the words are. Whit says the story behind those words is extraordinary. He describes the life of the hymn’s writer, Horatio G. Spafford.
Spafford suffered incredible tragedy in his life. He lost his business to the great Chicago fire and his son to disease. Then, if that weren’t enough, he sent his wife and four daughters to England on an evangelistic tour and, on the way over, the boat sank in a storm. All four of his daughters drowned. Only his wife survived. Spafford left for England immediately. As his ship passed over the spot where his daughters were lost, Spafford wrote his most famous and inspirational verse: “When peace like a river, attendeth my way / When sorrow like sea billows roll / Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say / It is well, it is well, with my soul.”
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- Why did Whit say it is important to sing old hymns as well as more modern praise songs?
- How could Horatio Spafford write “it is well with my soul” even though he lost all of his children and his business?
- Could you say the same thing if something terrible happened to you? Why or why not?
- PARENTS: Though this is an inspirational and moving story, it does contain a realistic shipwreck as well as several deaths. While handled tastefully, these scenes may frighten younger listeners.
- Lucy says, "We sing mostly praise songs in my church," making it clear that she and Mr. Whittaker do not attend the same church. However, in "An Adventure in Bethany, Part 1", Whit notices that Lucy was not at church and approaches her about it.
QuotesLucy Cunningham-Schultz: I didn't know you sing.
John Whittaker: Well I'm sure a lot of our choir members think I can't. But I do my best.