"Love Lifted Me"

words: James Rowe
music: Howard E. Smith
Background music: Joyful Noise Music

"How quickly we judge Peter for sinking down in the waves, yet there were 11 other disciples who never stepped foot out of the boat! Many times in Scripture and hymnody the Christian walk is compared to nautical themes. The anchor, a safe harbor, the waves or sea billows, a safe vessel, a lighthouse.... These terms not only bring to mind the ocean, but the LORD of the wind and the waves!

In 'Love Lifted Me', James Rowe brings to mind in the first verse our redemption from sin by our Saviour! Then the second verse shows the change in our walk as we owe Him our song, our service, our whole heart. And in the third and final stanza we see Rowe's encouragement to the unbeliever...his witness to the lost. 'Look above! Jesus completely saves!' What a beautiful picture of the Christian life:  redemption, sanctification, and evangelization!

James Rowe was born in Horrabridge, Devonshire, England in 1865. Son of John Rowe, a copper miner, James worked for the Irish government for four years, then emigrated to America at age 24. He settled in Albany, New York, and worked in railroads in New York for 10 years. He then became an inspector for the Hudson River Humane Society. He then worked for music publishers in Texas and Tennessee, and in his later years, moved to Vermont and worked with his daughter, an artist, writing verses for greeting cards. He and the music composer Howard E. Smith wrote this song in Saugatuck, Connecticut in 1912. According to Rowe's daughter:

Howard E. Smith was a little man whose hands were so knotted with arthritis that you would wonder how he could use them at all, much less play the piano.... I can see them now, my father striding up and down humming a bar or two, and Howard E. playing it and jotting it down."

Taken from Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © 2002 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI.
Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.