My daughter walked slowly over to the table where I sat playing my guitar and singing and put her hand on mine.
Eyes peeking out behind glasses, tiny lips unsure of what to say, “You sound really beautiful, but I don’t like that song, Mommy. It’s very sad.”
“The person is lost out on the water and no one is coming for her.”
Teaching myself to play the guitar, I’ve been seeking out new songs online that appeal to me in lyrics and tune, in addition to some I already knew. I taught myself a song called “Find Me in the River”.
From my daughter’s perspective, the song was about being left. So I scooped her up onto my lap and hugged her against me and explained that the song is a person singing to God, knowing that He is always there.
“Even though the person has gone through a lot of hard things – like the thorns, suffering, feeling cracked and dry – and right then feels like there is no one there, the singer knows that God IS there, and His healing love will make it all better. It doesn’t mean it is easy, but the person trusts God anyway.”
“Oh, so it is a nice song,” she smiled softly, playing with my fingers in her hand.
The song went from one of hopelessness to hopefulness for her. The singer was still alone in the water, reflecting on the challenges, but was singing to God, not a person, and knew the hard times were part of the whole purpose of life.
In our lives too, when we forget the context, the many things that are good and healing, and when we forget that it is God who we need to trust in, we too can hear a sad and lonely tune, one of being lost at sea. When we place our situation in context, though, and remember that our life is a culmination of many ups and downs, often unexpected, we see that there is much more than the hurt in the moment.
Surrendering to God and allowing our faith to rest in His understanding of it all, there is clarity of the ever-present hope in our lives. We are set free on our knees, not submissive to the challenges we face, but receptive to the strength we are given to endure.
Throughout my life I see sadness that seemed insurmountable, but I am also able to see amazing things that occurred during those times of deep sadness – lessons learned, outreach given, a sculpting of the clay that is me.
Some challenges this week have left my mind spinning a bit, reaching for the steadiness of the bannister of faith, to ward off the anxiety. Not too far over my shoulder, though, I see the times of uncertainty in income, which brought amazing grace.
An evening snack with Santa, gifts at his feet.
Hands reaching to us with offers of food, clothing and comfort.
A Christmas Eve porch filled with presents whose worth was beyond what they might have cost, as the children and I kneeled down to pick them up and embraced in a hug at their being on our doorstep.
This too brings gifts. This too shall pass.
“Find me in the river, I’m waiting here.”
Part II – When the context is