Weekend Reflections: March 22-24, 2012
I love music. I love to sing. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t love music. There was a time in my life that I thought music didn’t love me, but I have always been drawn to music. For many years, music was my voice. I would speak my heart through music. Music would help me tell my story. Music has been and continues to be woven into the very fabric of my soul.
This past weekend some of my fellow music makers and I got together and did a few shows. Guests were Larnelle Harris, Wayne Watson, the group 4Him, and Clay Crosse. We hopped on a bus and traveled to Memphis, Birmingham and Little Rock. What I expected was great music and song, I was not disappointed. What I expected was stepping back into the ’80’s and early ’90’s and share much of the music we each sang during that time. I was not disappointed.
What I didn’t expect was this overwhelming feeling of gratitude and thankfulness. I mean, think about it. We aren’t as young on the outside as we were in the ’80’s. Some of the guys are grandparents. Time has marched on and we marched on with it.
Some of us are still traveling the country, singing concerts, writing music, leading worship. Some coach their son or daughter’s sports teams. Some are taking care of their parents in the final season of their parents life. Some of us have no regrets—many of us have regrets. Not about the singing, but about the fact that we stopped singing THE song in our lives for awhile.
Last night as I was sharing the last part of the concert, I looked over at these ragamuffins–because face it, we are all ragamuffins–and I realized there has been a lot of life lived within the pages of our stories. Stories that have from time to time woven together–stories that have gone off on their own for a while. But nevertheless, much life has been lived in the years we have all been in the business.
And of all the songs we have sung, or the words we have written, or the people with whom we have shared, it comes back to the lyrics of the first song many of us ever learned. The song, that in the midst of stormy seasons, still sings true. The song, that in the midst of pain and darkness, still sings true. The song, that in the midst of loss and disappointment, still sings true.
And it is THIS song that keeps us showing up every night to do what we do. Not because we are great, but because HE is great. And as long as I can sing from my heart, I will forever proclaim the truth I have found within my own soul. The song that has been the constant truth in my life….
Jesus loves me, this I know
for the Bible tells me so
little ones to him belong
we are weak but He is strong
YES! Jesus loves me
YES! Jesus loves me
YES! Jesus loves me
The Bible tells me so
At this moment, I am writing the final entry into this devotional in my legal pad. As I have used several pages of this pad, I realized as I flipped the last page over, that some little munchkin named Sam has been doodling on these pages. It makes me smile. It immediately makes me think of him and in a split second relieve a few moments of his life…and I treasure them.
Mary was loyal and faithful to her son even to the cross. She was one of the last ones to stand by his sides. And some of Jesus’ last spoken thoughts were to his mother. He wanted to make sure she would be cared for after he was physically gone.
Can you imagine all of the emotion of a lifetime she must have felt? She was His mother to the very end…of is it the beginning.
My prayer and hope for you is that you have been challenged and encourages as you have journeyed through this Christmas story. Perhaps you see yourself in one of the characters in the story. Perhaps you have journeyed far in your life like the wise men, or you have diligently gone about your dailiness like the shepherds. Perhaps you have related to Mary or to Joseph as you face the “Impossibleness of your life’s circumstances.
Be not afraid. God is finding favor with you. He calls us to come to the manger and meet the Christ Child—The Son of God. He calls us to fall down and worship Him. He calls us with the signs and wonders of His creation. He calls us to offer ourselves as gifts. He calls us to let Christ be born new and fresh in our hearts. He calls you because He loves us. Treasure these things in your heart.
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
This is my favorite verse in the entire Christmas story. After all that had happened, after all that Mary had seen and experienced, she treasured this journey in her heart.
As a mother, I can so relate to this. There is a bond, a connection that a mother and child share that is unique and different from all others. Everyone has a mother. Think about that. Everyone! The quality of the mother and child relationship can vary dramatically, but everyone has a mother. Every year on my birthday, my mother calls me and says the very same thing. She’ll say, “40 years ago, (or however old I am) my life became even more special. I became a mom and you became my daughter.” Every year, she gives me that beautiful gift in words. She is saying to me—“I treasure you, my child. I have seen your life blossom from childhood to womanhood and I am so proud!”
I have started a similar tradition with my own children. It begins about a week before their birthday. I will begin by saying, “12 years ago, (or however old they are) I was experiencing this or that.” And on their birthday, I tell them the story of their birth, what they looked and sounded like when they saw the world for the first time. How I felt when I held them for the first time. How I loved them then and how I love them now…and I treasure these things in my heart.