I’m sitting in a small church in the country–the kind with an entryway large enough for four people, the kind with a congregation of thirty faithful souls, the kind that stands by the side of the road that makes you wonder what goes on in that beautiful little place. It’s the kind of place where you want to sit and listen to the stories of all who come in the doors. How did they come to this church? Why do they stay? What is life like here in this small town? Can we be friends? You in this town and me from my town?
It’s time to sing the final hymn. We all turn to the page, although most people, I imagine, know the words by heart.
I find myself so curious about what kind of person could write, “I need no other argument, I need no other plea. It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me.”
I discover something precious about the life that penned these words that Jesus was enough.
Lidie Edmunds, also known as E.E. Hewitt, wrote many poems and hymns about Jesus in the midst of great personal pain, loss, and disappointment. Her vibrant life suddenly changed when she endured a spinal injury that kept her bedridden just as her wonderful teaching career started.
Instead of bitterness and sadness, Lidie studied literature and wrote beautiful hymns to the Lord. She wanted to make a difference in the lives of others even from her bed of pain. I think of her life in Philadelphia in the mid-1800’s and how different her future became from the one she must have imagined when she graduated as valedictorian of her high school.
But her injury taught her what we all will indeed come to know at some point: it is enough that Jesus died. Her hymn to the Lord fortifies me against an unknown future where I’m uncertain of what kind of pain, loss, or disappointment awaits. I know God holds my life in His hands, and I’m beginning to finally learn that this is enough.
My faith has found a resting place, not in device nor creed;
I trust the ever-living One, his wounds for me shall plead.
I need no other argument, I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died, and that he died for me.
— Lidie H. Edmunds, c. 1891