Saturday, October 11, 2014

31 Songs: Grace Has Called My Name

We all harbor a unique story. Our pain and our joy, the regrets and the things we got right; they combine and fuse together to create life. It is a gift, a privilege.

Sometimes, it is just day to day, one sunrise at a time.

Sometimes it hurts.

To live in the tenuous truth that indeed, all things work together for good; to believe, in spite of evidence otherwise, that we can and will endure, that things will get better, that a change is going to come - this is the tremolo that quivers within the most beautiful among us.

And often, those that radiate beauty, that leak the steadiest grace - they are also the ones who carry the most pain. I am thinking, tonight, of the great privilege of seeing that pain in the eyes of those who are willing to show it.

/ / /

My day peaked with an unexpected, take-my-breath-away commingling of past and present. I played music on a platform I never thought I'd walk upon. I led worship in a room that had held many of my tears, my regret, my apologies and remorse, but never my solo offering. Voices that I knew from a decade ago sang words of praise and worship and the harmony was sweet, the melody was true, and a sincere layer of resurrection lay underneath our voices.

It was a wedding, and it was not about me, but at the end, in an empty room, it was my moment. Tears leaked out of my eyes and I tried to find the words to tell Tony, in his own place of grace, but I just sobbed and sat in the mad swell of emotions and feelings, a strange and brittle mix of sorrow and joy that funneled down into a sense of something surreal.

I wiped my face off and whispered, "It feels like we have unfinished business here."

/ / /

I walked, alone, towards the car, and I stopped short. A moment slipped into my mind, one eleven years ago, when my pastor and I stood in that very spot, right there in the driveway. I remembered,
and it was all grace.

He stood before me and said, "God isn't finished with you yet."

He spoke sincerely, but I received  those words as little more than niceties, general encouragement, a pithy statement of hope that we Christians tend to throw around like pieces of candy when we've nothing else to offer.

But I was wrong. Today his words echoed in my mind, as the One who really spoke those words reminded me of His faithfulness. It has always been true, but today it became real.

Throughout the day, I tried to open myself to what other things I might need to hear, and they came. A story of a clutched hand and broken hearts and tears shed throughout an entire service - an occasion I remembered, but one I never understood, because I never knew the back story - until tonight. Honest words that became a blessing and a balm.

There were others; broken words from a broken heart that I have known and loved for all these years, and a reminder that my prayers matter and my listening ears matter. The general sense that all will be well, and the gentle statement from a solid man of God: It's good to see you smile.

Today's song, for me, is not from the wedding, and probably not one you know. But it has resounded and circled around my brain throughout the day, as the truth of the lyric came to life over and over and over and over again.

We all need a fair measure of grace in our lives; some times more than others. But we are all in need.

/ / /

Peace as elusive as a shadow dancing on the wall 
Life swallowed by the pain of yesterday 
Left broken by the shame of things that I had done 
No freedom from the choices that I'd made 
But with one touch, You made me clean 
You met me in my deepest need 

Grace has called my name 
When all that I had left were just filthy stains 
Grace has called my name 
When hope had all but faded far away Grace called my name
Wounded by words that left their mark upon my soul 
Dreams overturned by empty promises 
Well intentioned things I'd heard a million times before 
Just left my heart to grieve alone again 
But with one touch You set me free 
You met me in my deepest need 


Cyn Huddleston said...

When you look at those moments from the perspective of time, as a viewer and the viewed, it's different. Hopefully, better, as this case. I've experienced this. I've also seen it as one looking back on my mistake. Not as pleasant. What we can do is learn to anticipate whether we will one day see the moment as grace. But you know this. And you get grace every day.

Tish said...

I love u and so much more unspoken.

John Allen said...

Grace speaks to us always. We just need to surrender to it, accept it and know that we have been set free.

Thank you for this insight.

Barbara London said...

I loved this: "Grace has called my name" and the last line of that song, "You met me in my deepest need." Oh how true these words are!!! You never know when our past and our present collide or come together. Thank you for sharing yours@