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sunrise2The first year I taught kindergarten there was a girl in my class named Daria. She had been adopted from an orphanage in Russia. Her American family had learned about her because she suffered from the same disease as her adopted father—one that gave them brittle bones. Daria had already experienced breaks, multiple surgeries and much pain when she joined our class at five years old. She was very short, walked stiff legged, but was perpetually happy. Because it wasn’t safe for her to play as rough as the other students, I often joined their playground games so that she would have extra care, but the students soon became her greatest champions. For other days, when the games were too much for her, I brought her some paper dolls I had made myself and we sat on a step and played with them.
My favorite memory of Daria was the next year, when she was no longer in my class, but the school had a new music teacher, who was a blessing to our school. She taught them songs I’d never encountered before, but that soon became favorites. Like the Pilgrim Song. I can still see Daria singing with the enthusiasm of her whole heart: “You may think me wild, or simple as a child. I am a child of glory.” Sometimes she would have to sit as her legs began to ache. So she’d sit down on a riser among her classmates and sing, “My soul doth long to go where I may fully know the glory of my Savior.”

When life gets tough, I remember Daria and her happy smile despite her challenges. I sing this song, and I find life is pretty good after all.

Here’s the lyrics, (but watch this video for the full impact of the song):
(Be sure to enlarge the video so you can enjoy the beautiful images.)

My brethren I have found
A land that doth abound
With fruit as sweet as honey
The more I eat I find
The more I am inclined
To shout and sing hosanna

My soul doth long to go
Where I may fully know
The glory of my Savior.
And as I pass along
I’ll sing the Christian song;
I’m going to live forever.

Perhaps you think me wild
Or simple as a child;
I am a child of glory.
I am born from above
My soul is filled with love;
I love to tell the story.

And as I pass along
I’ll sing the Christian song;
I’m going to live forever