"See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
We used to sing the following hymn during our Monday night devotions with Uncle Bob and Aunt Ruth Ann Peterson and Uncle Dave and Aunt Joyce Falconer at Ubangi Academy, the boarding school I attended in Congo when I was in seventh grade. This song was always such a comfort to me then; it has not lost its power to comfort me almost thirty years later.
(Summer and baby Luke)
Children of the Heavenly Father
Children of the heav’nly Father
Safely in His bosom gather;
Nestling bird nor star in Heaven
Such a refuge e’er was given.
God His own doth tend and nourish;
In His holy courts they flourish;
From all evil things He spares them;
In His mighty arms He bears them.
Neither life nor death shall ever
From the Lord His children sever;
Unto them His grace He showeth,
And their sorrows all He knoweth.
Though He giveth or He taketh,
God His children ne’er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy.
Lo, their very hairs He numbers,
And no daily care encumbers
Them that share His ev’ry blessing
And His help in woes distressing.
Praise the Lord in joyful numbers:
Your Protector never slumbers.
At the will of your Defender
Ev’ry foeman must surrender.
Words: Karolina W. Sandell-Berg, translated from Swedish to English by Ernst W. Olson in The Hymnal, 1925.
Shortly before writing this hymn, Sandell and her father were on a boat trip, when he fell over board and drowned before her eyes.
It is thought this tragedy gave birth to the lyrics.