Please welcome Darlene Franklin to Faith in Writing. She has written a guest post for the Musical Wednesdays Feature.
Darlene will be doing a giveaway of her ebook “Mermaid’s Song.” Leave a comment for a chance to win.
ROCK OF AGES, CLEFT FOR ME
O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
– Psalm 95:1
During a bad thunderstorm, Anglican preacher Augustus Toplady dashed into a fissure in the rocks in Burrington Combe, England. While he waited for the storm to pass, the makings of a sermon came to him. “The rock of faith was a shelter from the storms of life.” Soon the words took on rhythm and rhyme: Rock of ages, cleft for me. Let me hide myself in Thee.
That couplet eventually formed the first and the last lines of the popular hymn. In between, we read of the ways in which we need Jesus to be our Savior. At its heart, Rock of Ages is an invitation hymn. Be of sin the double cure.
The second verse reminds us that we must go to that Rock, because we can’t do it on our own:
Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law’s commands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.
The third verse paints a beautiful before and after picture, of how God exchanges His salvation for our poverty.
Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.
The final verse points to the final judgment, when our only hope for salvation lies in the Rock of Ages, when we see Thee on Thy throne.
Rock of Ages was first published a year before the United States declared its independence from England. This centuries-old hymns remains popular. Hymnary.org lists as the ninth most popular hymn of all time, as indicated by its publication in contemporary hymnals.
In my novella, I fudged a little bit on the date the hymn was written, and allowed my heroine to be acquainted with the hymn in 1756. She even sang it in French! Roche des âges.
In Mermaid’s Song, French Acadian Justine is shipwrecked on Maine’s rocky coast. She is severely injured by the storm, the ship sinking, and the rocks on which she landed. All alone, she calls on God for help and sings Rock of Ages. She can only take a few steps before she has to stop. She continues to sing, drawing strength from God her Rock. Eventually her singing draws the attention of Noble Prescott, a storeowner on his way to Portland for supplies. And so the story begins.
Whether we are in a thunderstorm, wrecked by life—or in need of salvation—we can flee to God our Rock. He will deliver us.
Justine Battineaux plays the role of the mermaid in this imaginative retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale.
Justine, an Acadian forced from her homeland on Cape Breton Island by British decree, finds herself adrift in the Maine colony. She doesn’t know the language and is distrusted as a foreigner.
Noble lives up to his name, providing shelter for Justine—and protection, as distrust turns into danger. For himself, his family—and the woman he comes to love.
How will Justine and Noble overcome the evil woman’s schemes to find their own love everlasting?
Bio: Best-selling hybrid author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. Mermaid Song is her fiftieth unique title! She’s also contributed to more than twenty nonfiction titles. Her column, “The View Through my Door,” appears in five monthly venues. Other recent titles are Small Town Romances and Maine: If there’s romance…it must be Maine. You can find her online at: Website and blog, Facebook, Amazon author page
Don’t forget, leave a comment for a chance to win an ebook copy of “Mermaid’s Song.”