Paula wrote to me today and said:
Thanks for bringing Margaret Clarkson to my mind - (I had chosen her revised version of the hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, to use on a recent post.)
How I have loved her hymn 'So send I you' - you know she wrote it first at age 22 when she went as a teacher to a remote and lonely logging camp.
So, send I you to labour unrewarded
To serve unpaid, unloved, unsung, unknown
To bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing
So send I you, to toil for me alone.
When more mature in grace, she saw it as far too 'one sided' and re-wrote it.
So send I you-by grace made strong to triumph
O'er hosts of hell, o'er darkness, death, and sin,
My name to bear, and in that name to conquer-
So send I you, my victory to win.
So send I you-to take to souls in bondage
The word of truth that sets the captive free,
To break the bonds of sin, to loose death's fetters-
So send I you, to bring the lost to me.
So send I you-my strength to know in weakness,
My joy in grief, my perfect peace in pain,
To prove My power, My grace, My promised presence-
So send I you, eternal fruit to gain.
So send I you-to bear My cross with patience,
And then one day with joy to lay it down,
To hear My voice, "well done, My faithful servant-
Come, share My throne, My kingdom, and My crown!"
"As the Father hath sent Me, so send I you."
I was fascinated when Paula sent this information and felt a sense of God at work! I have loved hymns all of my life and here was one I'd never heard, but loved on sight. I didn't recognize the author's name immediately but the more I thought of it, the more familiar it became, like an old friend, long forgotten.
Click on the name Margaret Clarkson and you can read her story; a jewel among Canadian writers.
In 1992 she was the 4th recipient of the Leslie K. Tarr Award; which is given annually by The Word Guild (of which Susan and I are both members) to celebrate a major career contribution to Christian Writing and publishing in Canada.
On The Word Guild website, her passing, just two years ago, is noted:
Canadian author/poet/hymnwriter E. Margaret Clarkson died in Toronto on March 17, 2008 at age 93 after a long struggle with physical illness and a 15-year disablement by Alzheimer's. She had published many hymn lyrics, including "So Send I You," and 17 books, including So You're Single, Destined for Glory, All Nature Sings and A Singing Heart.
Paula, thank you for leading us on a treasure hunt for today's post!
Late breaking post script: Magda, a faithful blog reader, sent me this by email and I share it because it rounds out the picture of a dear woman we can only now know through others:
Margaret Clarkson was a neighbor of mine who lived in a little cottage on the Don Valley Ravine at Yonge and Sheppard. She was an ardent bird watcher as well as hymn writer and I loved to visit her. I used to water her plants (lots of African Violets like me) when she went away. She was an amazing lady and I am so glad I had the opportunity to know her before she moved into a seniors' home when her health failed.