In the Quiet of This Day

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Shirley Erena Murray
Tune Name: WHANGAREI

Lyrics as Poetry

In the quiet of this day,
in the safety of this place,
Holy Presence, hear me pray,
soothe my spirit with your peace.Take the tangle of my thought,
take the tension from my frame,
free within me what is fraught,
still the waves I cannot tame.I am tired and out of tune:
it is you who gives new song.
I am fearful and alone:
bring me home where I belong.What I am, you truly know,
more than lover, more than friend,
you the light to whom I grow,
you my meaning and my end.Alleluia, allelu,
Alleluia, allelu,
Alleluia, allelu,
Alleluia, allelu.


Words by
Shirley Erena MurrayCopyright © 1999 by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song

Comment by
RON KLUSMEIER


“In the Quiet of this Day” is one of the few titles in Shirley’s “Faith Makes the Song” book for which she included no comments. Knowing her as I did, I can imagine her thinking/saying that, if we didn’t get the message from the text, there would be little she could add that might help!

Shirley and I talked about these words as she struggled to care for John, her beloved husband, partner and friend, in spite of her own health frailties. Near the end of a note to me she said (quoting the third verse), “I am tired and out of tune.”


Faith Makes the Song
is published by:Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, IL USA


A Reflection by hymnwriter
WALTER FARQUHARSON

One of the mantras that my wife, Joan, very much appreciated was this: “Be still and know that I am God. (pause) Be still and know. (pause). Be still. (pause) Be.”

I was not familiar with this hymn by Shirley Erena Murray until today (May 24, 2021). On his Musiklus website Ron posted a note saying that Shirley had cared for her husband as his health declined and death came, even as she was aware that her own health issues were becoming more threatening. This hymn had been written sometime during that journey together. In a personal note to Ron, Shirley quoted one of the lines, “I am tired and out of tune.” Many who sing this hymn or read this reflection will understand what is being said. Many have been there, or journeyed with friends who faced similar challenges.

It is three months today that Joan died. That this would be the hymn for me to write about next seems beyond coincidence. There are lines that seem to speak of death. “I am fearful and alone: bring me home where I belong.” “Holy Presence … you the light to whom I grow, you my meaning and my end.”

Yet there is a “this-dayness” to these words. Along life’s journey there are many times when we need to be brought home, however far we are from the place and places we have called home. There is a need to rest in God, to rest in Love. There is a need to rest without accusation or blame, without judgement or justification. A need to rest beyond all categories, all doubts and certainties, all responsibilities, all weights and burdens. A place to “Be”.

“In the quiet of this day, in the safety of this place, Holy Presence, hear me pray, soothe my spirit with your peace. Take the tangle of my thought, take the tension from my frame, free within me what is fraught, still the waves I cannot tame.” Somehow in this place of being, and of Being, we sense the light to which we grow – and to which throughout life we have been growing – sometimes because of the path we have chosen, sometimes because of the paths that seemed to have chosen us.

John, the gospel writer, spoke of “grace and truth – from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace.” (John 1:14-17). John speaks of the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. And we, by grace dwell in the Word. Here is our home and we have no need to define it for it is Love. Love that is accepting and healing, love that gives life.

“My meaning and my end.” Death comes to each of us. We do not know what is experienced beyond this dying. It is not the end in the sense of end – kaput! The love we have lived will not be lost. We are named, and remembered (given flesh again) and we will still be loved. It is again, grace. Resurrection. My “end”, by grace, is fulfillment, purpose and meaning that is not lost. We trust God who is forever the one who gives to us a new song to sing. Through our lives it has been true, recognized or not.

The hymn ends, as does each day, as does each life, with song: Alleluia. Alleluia.


An Activity: For the next few days read aloud, or sing, this hymn. Let the words and music carry you, soothe you, bless you – and those you love.

                                                    Audio Sample for "In the Quiet of This Day"

Verses 1 & 4 with "Alleuia" ending
played on piano

Scripture References

  • Psalm 10-11
  • Psalm 46:1-5
  • Psalm 139:1-18
  • Isaiah 55:8-13
  • Ezekiel 34:30-31
  • Ezekiel 36:26-28
  • Matthew 6:6-8
  • Matthew 6:7-11
  • Matthew 11:28-30
  • Mark 4:35-41
  • John 14:1-21
  • 1 Corinthians 13:8-13
  • 1 John 3:1-3
  • Revelation 21:1-6

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Grief
  • Heal, Healing
  • Hope
  • Human Race
  • Music, Song
  • Peace
  • Sing, Singing
  • Spirit

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