No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus
- Lucy Neeley Adams
- 2007 28 Feb
It is simple to spell l-o-v-e, not always so simple to experience it. But just as a baby wrapped in the arms of a loving parent is fed even if he is not drinking milk, so God's love can flow through the loving arms of a mom or dad, and give that baby strength for a lifetime.
With each new stage of growth there is that same basic need for love that fills the heart and soul of every child. After talking with a judge of a family court, one statement in our discussion has stayed with me. He said, "Most of the children I try to help are those who see but do not say." There are many children who see much at home but have nowhere to discuss it. My friend Joe Ann knows it is true.
As I walked by her house one day, I saw her in the rocking chair on her front porch. "Hi, Joe Ann," I called, not wanting to disturb her beyond a simple greeting, but she invited me to visit with her. I sensed she wanted to say many things about her childhood. Memories overflowed as she clutched her baby book. "You see this blue baby book? My parents were surprised when I was a girl. I was to be their little boy, Joe. But in my baby book, it is written as Joe Ann. Only my name is here, and that is how I felt, like there was nothing else to say. And I never said very much."
Then with a stifled sob, she mumbled, "No one ever cared, no one ever cared." I patted her hand in understanding since I too had often felt that way. My older sister seemed to be the blessing to my parents and there were times when I felt like an appendage.
We talked at length about the failure of parents to nurture their children in a perfectly loving home. "Since none of us are perfect in our ability to express love, the children in our homes might suffer," I said. "We must teach them that God's love is the only sustaining and perfect love there is."
I then shared with her a scripture that blesses my heart each time I read it. "Warm me, your servant, with a smile; save me because you love me" (Psalm 31:16, The Message). We ended our visit with happiness because we had shared our pain. We rejoiced that we knew the love of God through our Savior, Jesus Christ, who always cares. His perfect love and caring never end.
Jesus is sufficient for our needs whatever age or stage we are in life. One of my favorite hymns of the Christian faith is "No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus." The composer, Charles Weigle, was born in 1871 in Lafayette, Indiana. As a young boy, he heard of God's love and asked Jesus to come into his heart. At the age of twelve he felt a definite call to preach. His life of ministry is descriptive of the scripture, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).
However, during Weigle's early years of ministry he experienced a heartbreaking moment that he describes this way: "A mantel of grief covered me, but God's grace sustained me."
These sentiments are echoed by many great composers. Their music gives us renewed hope and an assurance that if tragedy comes, disciples of Jesus Christ can overcome.
Weigle was an evangelist who spent much time away from home conducting preaching missions. One day he returned to find a note from his wife that she had left him and taken their small daughter.
Historian Kenneth W. Osbeck, author of the book Amazing Grace, writes more about Weigle: "He became so despondent during the next several years that there were even times when he contemplated suicide. There was the terrible despair that no one really cared for him anymore. Gradually his spiritual faith was restored and he once again became active in the Christian ministry. Soon he felt compelled to write a song that would be a summary of his past tragic experience."
The first verse begins: "I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus, since I found in Him a friend so strong and true."
In our lives there are times when we feel all alone, whether it's due to a broken marriage, the betrayal of a good friend, the death of a loved one, a lonely childhood, or just the everyday trials of relationships at the workplace. This loneliness is a sure sign of a need for deepening one's faith in Jesus, who said, "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you" (John 14:18).
The chorus following each of the three stanzas of this hymn makes one feel secure in the loving relationship with our living Lord:
"No one ever cared for me like Jesus, there's no other friend so kind as He.
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me,
Oh how much he cared for me."
Composer Charles Weigle died at age 95. The world may not remember the sermons he preached. However, his ministry lives on as we sing his hymn of assurance. Our best friend is Jesus, whose love is perfect and everlasting.
God of all love, I humbly bow in Your presence as you reach out to touch me and assure me of your presence. I acknowledge my desperate need for you. I have no fear because you are sufficient for any need. Thank you for sending Your son Jesus who spoke these words of promise: "In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). I pray in His name, Amen
Lucy Neeley Adams has always loved music. She began telling the story of hymns on Christian radio WWGM in Nashville, TN, in the '80s. She then wrote a newspaper column titled "Song Stories" for five years. During that time Lucy's book, 52 Hymn Story Devotions, was published by Abingdon Press in Nashville. Each of the 52 stories contained in the book is written in a devotional format, with the words of the hymn concluding each devotion.
Lucy, dubbed "The hymn lady," can be heard on the first Thursday of each month when she discusses hymn stories during a telephone interview with Michelle Mendoza of "Living Christian." The program is aired on station KCIS in Seattle, WA.
Lucy lives at Lake Junaluska, NC, with her minister husband, Woody. They have four children and fourteen grandchildren. She may be reached for comment at [email protected]. Visit her at 52hymns.com