Swing Low – Stuart Segall
“Swing low, sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home,
Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
I looked over Jordan, and what did I see
Coming for to carry me home?
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.”
Sometimes I’m up, and sometimes I’m down,
(Coming for to carry me home)
But still my soul feels heavenly bound.
(Coming for to carry me home) (unknown and I don’t know)
The brightest day that I can say
Coming for to carry me home
When Jesus washed my sins away
Coming for to carry me home”
“Sweet Chariot” was sung to let slaves know that they would be escaping soon. This was Harriet Tubman’s favorite song, history records.
I grew up hearing this song a lot. My mother so wanted me to understand people’s suffering and the need for equality for all people. It has served me well. The message of mortality should provide us with compassion and a reminder of ours.
My earliest memories of my mother were that her messages were often conveyed, not on a swing but in a rocking chair. I knew when we rocked I would either get read to or taught her lessons and thoughts toward life and people. She did this with me until she needed a forklift to put me on her lap.
Life has a way through every medium out there to remind us that our time here is traveling at a fast rate. I was a very young boy when I became aware of death. It was the first fear I can remember and while Mom was teaching me life, little did she know she awoke my understanding and fear of death.
Later on in life another message would come into my life. It was the antidote to the fear of death that I carried my entire childhood. The apostle Paul would write these words that would shed light and hope into a frightened world.
1st Thessalonians 4: “13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so, we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
I still miss my mom. I was her caregiver the last 11 months of her life, and when she passed, she was in my arms similar to the way I was in hers…as a boy. Bittersweet for me but when my time comes, I will not be looking for a swing, but that ole rocking chair coming for to carry me home. Comforting.