Ever heard of Cecil Francis Alexander?
How about Henry Gauntlett?
Ring a bell?
These are names of two people that were perhaps quite obscure in their day but they left lasting legacies.
In their obscurity, they wrote, they created.
Passionate in their giftings and purpose, they left reams of papers full of hymns and musical compositions.
Although they lived in the same generation, they never knew each other.
For they were separated by country with Alexander hailing from Ireland and Gauntlett residing in Olney, England.
At some point God lifted the veil of obscurity in bits and pieces so that His handiwork could be completed on their watch of life and beyond.
As only God can do, these two people never met but their giftings collided, merging into a wonderful Christmas Hymn entitled Once In Royal David’s City.
She wrote the words, he wrote the music.
He merged the two. She never knew.
So who are these two rather obscure people?
Cecil Frances Alexander loved to write poems and hymns for children. Her passion was to make the Bible stories more meaningful to children. Her poem/hymn Once in Royal David’s City, appeared for the first time in a collection called Hymns for Little Children in 1848.
Henry Gauntlett was said to have composed over ten thousand hymn tunes in his lifetime. His passion for music began when he was a little boy. His determination to become a serious musician landed him the job of church organist at his church by age nine! A position that he held for the rest of his life.
Perhaps one fine day, Gauntlett discovered Alexander’s hymn/poem Once in Royal David’s City in that collection of Hymns for Little Children and knew that among his catalogue of many tunes he had one that fit like a glove to the words that she penned some years before.
I guess we will never know how it all happened.
But we do know this. They seized life with gusto. Gave their lives over to their calling. They probably never knew how far reaching their passions would go. And just like this story, we may never know the height, the depth, the range, the longevity that our influence, our lives, our giftings will have.
Perhaps we should take note and determine to live out the rest of our lives giving away our passions and our giftings, thereby leaving God -created legacies for those who come after our time here on earth.