Hymn Story

My Faith Looks Up to Thee

Hymn lists

by book of Bible

Ray Palmer was a rather unhappy and lonely young man teaching school in New York City when he was inspired to write the words for this song.  He wrote the words in a notebook that he kept in his pocket, and didn’t give the matter much more thought.

Two years later while visiting Boston, Palmer happened to run into his friend, Lowell Mason, an accomplished musician.  Mason said that he was getting ready to publish a hymnbook and asked if Palmer had anything he would like to contribute.  That caused Palmer to remember his poem, so he pulled out his notebook and showed Mason what he had written.  Mason copied the words and set them to music.

Later, Mason said, “Palmer, you may live many years and do many good things, but I think you will be best-known to posterity as the author of ‘My Faith Looks Up to Thee'”— and that is, indeed, how it turned out.

When I read that story, it made me reflect on the fact that the Spirit sometimes touches our lives in ways that we could not have predicted.  In those moments, our lives become unusually blessed — and convey unusual blessings to others.

— Copyright 2006, Richard Niell Donovan