Offer You My Praise

Lyrics

When I wake up in the morning, my first thought

Is that I’m glad to be alive today, with dreams to embrace

Everything I do begins with You, You’re all that I’m not

And all I want to do is thank You for Your Grace

 

Your example was to sacrifice and serve

I will elevate Your name today and always

Every hour I walk this earth is a gift I often don’t deserve

And all I want to do is offer You my praise

 

When the riddles of the moment cloud my judgment

I can get down on my knees and pray to You to cut right through the haze

Every minute in Your timeless word yields my next step

through this dark maze

Lord, You give me joy in oh-so-many ways

 

I can count on You to lead me down the proper path

I depend on You to warm me like the sun’s rays

I can count on You to pull me through this crazy life and its aftermath

And all I want to do is offer You my praise

 

Will it be another week, a month, or perhaps a year

I could tolerate an hour or several days

I grow weary of this angry world and I wish that I could draw You near

All I want to do is offer You my praise

The Story

I praised God for the hospitality we were received with throughout my time in Haiti.  I was first struck by the beauty of the Haitian people.  Then I became preoccupied with their fitness – I felt bloated and unhealthy by comparison.  But the lasting impression they made on me is that they are endlessly considerate of strangers and their needs.

We were honored one night at a special outdoor gathering, staged specifically for us by a local church.  I felt unworthy of being there.  I stood on the perimeter by myself, uncomfortably alone, unsure of what to do with myself.  Eventually I took a seat on a stump, but then got up again to offer it to a young woman.  I had no idea if I was perceived as gallant or silly, but she was happy to accept.  A young man walked up to me and handed me a hand-written note that read, “In Haiti, we uncover our heads when in the presence of God.”  I quickly tore my baseball cap off.  Yet again I was impressed that someone made an effort to keep me from offending local sensibilities, and did it in a way that was graciously non-confrontational AND offered me the opportunity to make my own choice.

A choir performed, and their combined voices were absolutely glorious.  It put me at ease again.  A church leader spoke a bit and then intruduced the main speaker.  A few words into the address, I realized that his sermon would be in Haitian Creole, of which I only knew a few words.  I probably looked around as if to say “I wonder how long this will last.”  Before I could even begin to contemplate an exit strategy, a young man appeared at my side.  “My name is Daniel,” he informed me, “and I will be your interpreter.”  Wow.  Again, Haitians did their utmost to accomodate me.  In the time it took for me to look around in confusion, yet another hospitable Haitian accurately diagnosed my needs and came to minister to them.

So I understood the presentation, down to even the minor points, perhaps.  Daniel broke it all down in clear English, speaking into my ear so as not to disturb anyone else.  I had an opportunity to chat with him after the speech concluded.  I asked him if he lost many family members in The Great Quake.  His face brightened in response.  “No,” he answered happily, “And only two of my close friends died.”  If anyone else had lost two good friends to a tragedy, I thought, it would be the saddest of times.  But to a Haitian, it was a best-case scenario to accept with thankfulness.  These Haitians, they are . . . RESOLUTE.  They keep life in proper perspective.  They choose to be happy TODAY, rather than waiting for the perfect circumstances to appear first.

I wish I had taken a photo of Daniel, or asked for his personal information so that I could reestablish contact with him.  Wherever he is now, and whatever he’s doing, I would assume that he’s happy.

I wonder if he has a family of his own now?  May God bless him, whatever his path.

Offer You My Praise (Sample)

by Troy Erickson | HAITI HYMNAL: A MISSION MEMOIR

Credits

Vocals – Troy Erickson

 

Bass / Brass / Drums / Guitar / Organ / Percussion – Fred Marcoty

 

Mixed by Fred Marcoty

Mastered by Scott Horton (www.virtualmixengineer.com)

© Troy Erickson 2017