By Blessed Wounds (T.L. Moody)

Tammy Moody wrote a lovely text about trusting God to be a good father rather than a vengeful or cruel one. She and I have discussed the fact that using the image of God as Father is quite out of fashion in some circles. There are good reasons: Some people have had horrible experiences with their earthly fathers that cause barriers to them approaching God as Father; also, we should be exploring the full range of images and titles the Bible uses for God. I like how Tammy approaches it, though. She recognizes God as Father, while also acknowledging the fear and doubt many of us have in believing we’re children, accepted and loved by a good Heavenly Father.

I composed a simple pentatonic melody to support the words–almost a lullaby. There are echoes of “Here Is Love, Vast as the Ocean” (the tune Tammy had in mind when she wrote the text), but with a more sweeping melodic arch that allows the second half of the song greater emotion. The first two times the apex of the melody asks the unanswered question, “Dare I come to you?” and the third time it declares tentatively, “I will come.”

1. Dare I come to you as Father,
when by shame I am consumed?
Through the spotless Lamb’s atonement
dare I come by blessed wounds?

Dare I come to you, as Father
when my faith has taken wing?
I’ve no gifts of gold or silver.
Doubts are all I have to bring.

2. Though your child, your dear, beloved,
and with you I’m not alone,
still, my fears arise, O Father,
born on tears before your throne.

Dare I come to you, as Father
when my faith has taken wing?
I’ve no gifts of gold or silver.
Doubts are all I have to bring.

3. Tell me, once again, O Father
how my soul you’ll ne’er dis-own;
How in Christ I am forgiven,
saved by works, not of my own.

I will come to you, my Father,
though by shame I am consumed.
Through the spotless Lamb’s atonement,
I will come by bless-ed wounds.

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