“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

“Sunshine in My Soul”

(Please read Psalm 100)

January 11

Our title identifies an old song still found in many hymnals. Most books today probably show the first line, “There is sunshine in my soul today,” as the title, but the author’s tombstone mentions the title shown above.

An unruly schoolboy at the Northern Home for Friendless Children, in Philadelphia, helped bring about the song. It was 1887, and Miss Eliza Hewitt, the teacher, was 36 years old. A boy who was being disciplined hit her hard with his slate, severely injuring her back.

A doctor placed Miss Hewitt in a heavy cast, which virtually immobilized her for six months. Soon after the cast was removed and Eliza could walk and run again, she wrote the song, a song filled with infectious joy. Many of the words simply overflow with happiness, depicting a heart filled with sunshine, music, springtime, gladness, hope, praise, love, the dove of peace, and the flowers of grace. Who can help being happy to claim these things?

Eliza Hewitt never went back to teaching school, but she wrote many hymns, along with instructional literature and children’s poems. She was a close friend of hymn writer Fanny Crosby. John R. Sweney, a prolific hymn composer, provided the music for this and several of Miss Hewitt’s other hymns.

Only heaven can know how many lives her hymns have touched or how much good our title song has done during the past 100+ years. If you doubt these words of praise for a song, try singing a couple of verses and you will see what we mean about infectious happiness. A good way to start our day.

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