Song Stories

Because He lives, she lives

By Lucy Adams | Apr 11, 2017

Yes, God sent him to live, die and live again. Millions of people have believed since that glorious event.

Portions of John 20:1-16 tells of Mary's experience. She saw that the stone, which was rolled in front of the tomb where his body was laid, had been rolled away. She thought the body had been stolen and she began to cry.

Seeing a man standing beside her, whom she thought was the gardener, she heard him ask, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who is it you are looking for ?”

She replied, “Sir, if you have carried Jesus's body away, tell me where you have put him."

Before he answered, she heard a voice speaking, “Mary”, and she knew it was Jesus who was alive again. Reading and re-reading this portion of Scripture is a treasure.

Composer C. Austin Miles tells his story — “When  I was asked to write a hymn that brings hope to the hopeless and rest for the weary, I turned to my Bible for inspiration. It was a routine response but what happened was extraordinary.

“I gripped it close to me with muscles tense and nerves vibrating.  Under the inspiration of this vision, I wrote as quickly as the words could be formed, the poem exactly as it has since appeared. That same evening, I wrote the music.”

“I come to the garden alone, / While the dew is still on the roses, / And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, / The Son of God discloses.”

After each of the three verses that explain the Scripture, the chorus emphasizes the joy of a loving relationship with our living Lord.

“And He walks with me and He talks with me, / And He tells me I am His own. / And the joy we share as we tarry there. / None other has ever known.”

The life of C. Austin Miles, born in Lakehurst, New Jersey, in 1868 was varied. He was a pharmacist with a great love for music who became a manager with the Hall-Mack Publishing Co. of Philadelphia.

At many crusades he told of the creation of this song, directly from God's word. Of all the music that flowed from his life, only this one beloved hymn remains. He died at 78 and millions are thankful for his lasting gift of, “In The Garden.”

The telephone call that brought news of the death of my sister, Margaret, many years ago was a shock that turned to a spiritual insight. It was an Easter Sunday morning when her husband called our home. We had no idea what the news meant when he said,” Margaret is gone.”
My husband, Woody, and I thought he meant she was missing. But he continued, “She has died.” The heart attack occurred as soon she returned to their home from the sunrise service at the beach.

The rest of the Easter morning of 1976 was more different than any we had ever experienced. We went to the guest room to tell my mother about her beloved daughter, Margaret, and we shared loving tears. She had never visited in our home at Easter and we were thankful she could hear this news while we were together.

When we went to our church, where Woody was pastor, we celebrated the glory of the resurrection of Jesus with loving and caring friends. We sang hymns and “In The Garden” was a special inspiration that morning.

I praise God that I received a glorious insight as I looked at my bulletin for that Sunday. On the cover was a picture of beautiful Easter lilies and the two words, printed over the lilies, spoke great peace to me — “He lives” proclaimed that Jesus had risen from the grave and was alive.

Quickly, I printed the letter "S" before that phrase, so that it read, “She lives.” I was reminded that because of our Lord's resurrection and Margaret’s love for him, she too was alive. Hallelujah!