Monday, March 16, 2020

for the days ahead

Last night, song writer and musician Wendell Kimbrough hosted a live singing session on Facebook for about an hour where he took requests for his Psalm-based songs and even the classic Jesus Loves Me from a young listener. He played the guitar and sang the words taken from the Psalms, the songs for all seasons of life. As a small community gathered online to listen and sing-along, those moments were full of comfort and hope.

The music re-centered my mind after a hectic day of reaching out to friends and family through phone calls and online messages. Earlier that morning, our church had gathered online to connect through a livestream as our pastor led us through our usual order of worship which includes singing, Scripture reading, prayer and a sermon. While it was unusual to be sitting at home by ourselves and not surrounded by our church family, the familiarity of following our normal order of worship was comforting and calming. The sole musician used her voice and her guitar to lead us through hymns of praise and worship that we sing regularly together.

This morning as the sun came up and I opened our curtains, a bright yellow shone out as I saw that my mini daffodils had opened overnight. I inspected each one and looked carefully to see how many other blooms might follow. As I carried the planter towards the southeast part of our house to capture the blooms in the stronger light my spirits rose. I had already checked my email and saw an update on a family member who has been hospitalized far from home. And though I find myself anxious for our extended family and for those far from me, I took a few moments to delight in these new blossoms and capture them with my camera. As I worked, I decided to put on some music and put on Sara Groves' older album Conversations featuring the song The Word

I follow the news closely and I have for years. With the onset of the coronavirus news coming out of China in early January and issues here in Canada, I have read the news incessantly for weeks. 
Late yesterday afternoon as I worked on our evening meal anxious over all that is happening and changing , I realized I needed to work at creating a better balance between staying informed and forming my own stories from time well-spent. So here I am writing, sitting in the sunshine and listening to God's people sing about His Word and His works. I have girls who need my time and attention and house to keep clean and ordered. But I also have a spirit that needs tending and a body that needs exercise and fresh air. Wherever you find yourself these days, may you also find comfort in songs of praise and lament as you work and rest.

My heart is steadfast, O God;
 I will sing and make music with all my soul.
Awake, harp and lyre!
 I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations;
 I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
 your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,
 and let your glory be over all the earth.
Save us and help us with your right hand,
 that those You love may be delivered.

~ Psalm 108: 1-6

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