Praise the Lord! We just finished another triplet of articles that center around the hymn “Does Jesus Care?” They are an attempt to update and dramatically improve the original article on that hymn.
The writer of the hymn, Frank Graeff, wrote the words the time when he was sorely depressed. It seems that the writer that originally mentioned this condition, made it sound like a one-time event. Subsequent writers seem to dwell on this condition and make him sound bipolar.
It is very possible that Frank Graeff did not have a bipolar personality, but all the talk about how cheerful he was would indicate that he would have been a very emotionally driven person and one prone to severe highs and lows in his feelings.
It is interesting that the Wesley brothers had the same problem, and that Frank was part of their movement. Unfortunately when we rely on our feelings about our salvation, we are right where the devil wants us. Those who are very soulful, and very weak spiritually, are prone to such attacks. Both charismatic and Pentecostal industry is based on this emotional roller coaster. People frankly become exhausted all the highs and lows and quite often escape the church scene to try to level out emotionally. The great cost times because the weight this emotionalism with being Christian, and so those who would seek to reach them from Scripture find process very difficult.
Whether not Frank was actually bipolar is something that is too late to determine. But he was a Methodist minister and so part of this emotional connection for his salvation, would indicate that he indeed would have been driven to a bipolar mental state. Add circumstantial trauma and an exhausted physical body into the mix, and yes, you have the recipe for a mental illness.
It is true that Christians need to be assured their salvation, and the fact that Jesus Christ cares for them. This hymn has been able to reach and fulfill that need for so many people. It is sad to realize how many people are caught in this emotion and as a result need the words of this hymn.
The hymn is built around the phrase from first Peter that states that “He careth for you.” The context of the verse is about how the Christian needs to behave, and to be able to achieve this spiritual life, he must cast his burdens onto his Savior, because our Savior does care for his sheep.
You can probably tell that I find the hymn very boring, and it had difficulty in leading it when we sing it. The music was designed for the poem, and it was done prayerfully, but it was also written by a Methodist too! I have a hard time with it because to me the tune is more of the lilting dance number that is hard to get a good tempo and feeling for the words. I much prefer him instead originate from the Psalter and age-old tunes to go with them. They have more of a staunch firm and solid message as well as very old solid tunes that go with the words. So instead of trying to generate an extremely soul-ish emotion, a very spiritual and godlike nature comes from just singing the Psalter pieces.
Would it not be better to sing “That man hath perfect blessedness, who walketh not to astray, in council of ungodly men, nor stands in sinners’ way.” That one verse says it all. If you want to experience spiritual blessing, you have to separate yourself from the ungodly and from sinners. You also have to abide by the holy and true gospel of God, and to not stray into philosophies in vain deceits. A good place to start is in how you dress. If you are here to simply impress people, and so use makeup and wearing modest clothing, you are not impressing anyone. You are proving that you are worldly and vain in your imaginations and quite corrupt in your thinking. If you are feeling lonely, depressed, in need of a “pick me up,” then frankly you need to separate from the world and draw closer to the Savior. Yes, He does care about you, but if you are going to resist His words and His instruction as printed in his Holy Book, there is not much He can do to bring real blessing into your life. You are simply going to have to comfort yourself, and bring solace to yourself by chanting some lilting hymns like “Does Jesus Care?”
Okay now for the facts about the hymn, please use the following links:
- Frank E. Graeff
- J. Lincoln Hall
- Does Jesus Care?