Little Thoughts on the Big Stuff

Blindly, We Sing

Photo Credit: Kairut Murataliev @kaito_muratalievkairat-murataliev-755917-unsplash

“Yet in some holy place within us, God lives and moves and has being.” (2 Cor. 6:16)

A smiling, disheveled woman is led to the front of the small church, clutching her white cain. Her shirt is stained, and her clothing seems haphazardly thrown together. Her eyes are shut, and the guitarist guides her to a spot where she is to stand. The guitarist begins strumming. Both women are standing in front of me in this small storefront church.

The blind woman begins shaking a bit. Perhaps she is caught off guard, having not seen a visual cue of the song’s beginning. Hands to her sides, it is noticeable her right hand has been maimed in some way. She holds it awkwardly. After a few words of the guitarist’s singing, the blind woman joins in, and trails off on some words. Together, the song is beautiful and people are joining in. Children in the front and side rows are compelled to pirouette and spin.

I am struck at how she offers her voice–courageously, however imperfect. The scene breaks my heart in the best way.

True beauty is in offering ourselves, our true selves, however broken, however imperfect, as worship to the Lord.

Her voice flows from a sacred place deep within–a joyful noise she offers up. I am wholly and holy-encouraged. I think to myself that this picture is of me–walking blindly and feebly toward God, not clearly seeing the way but being led with each step in trust and faith, offering my voice to Him.

The woman takes her seat after the song. The service culminates and I’m compelled to meet this courageous singer. I walk up and introduce myself and tell her what a blessing her song was to me. She tells me she’s been attending this church for quite some time. Though I have visited a few times having just moved to the city, this is the first I’ve seen her. She tells me it’s hit or miss that she’ll be in attendance as she takes public transportation from fifteen minutes away and sometimes, depending on who’s riding the bus, there may be an hour’s worth or longer of stops and she may miss the service to only end up back where’s she’s started from.

“But as a friend told me, ‘Your arms are too short to box God'” she laughs. “And so I just say, ‘Okay, Lord’.”

I am lifted up by the story of this song arriving and carry it with me in my heart, humbled and stronger.

 

Little Thoughts on the Big Stuff

Gathering

Photo Credit: Andy Wrasman, Contradictmovement.orgIMG_5531This morning I am taking time to gather. To search for what I can carry in my basket with two hands. I want to carry light things. Spaciousness. Quietness to notice. I want to carry a pause. A moment to articulate thoughts and feelings.

I will discard from my basket those things that are too heavy for me. To place them behind. God reaches out to take them from me. I give him each useless voice. Each waste of time. The fast fix. The hurry.

But there is still more to give. Here is my worry. Burdens taken on unnecessarily. Needless noise.

Here are the words I could have kept inside. The words I could have spoken. He takes them gently.

There is a pause.

I reach into my basket. That deeper place. I find misunderstanding there.

I give callousness and greed. The weight of frenzy released feels light.

My basket now is spacious.

“Come with me to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31).

I put in a small flower. I pick four juicy peaches and put them in; one to eat and three to give. An encouraging word. A prayer. I capture a smile and put it in.

A note. Wisdom.

And there is still space. I leave it open for hope.

I keep walking and feel I can carry on this way.