Sunday, May 04, 2014

A new favorite song...

A couple of hours ago, I watched a communion service online. It was being held at a church here in Charlotte that I've visited several times. They celebrate communion on the first Sunday of every month in the evening. To be completely honest, I forgot about the service until it was too late to go in person; thank God for online streaming capabilities.

They sang a song called "You are my strength."
You are my strength. Strength like no other, strength like no other, reaches to me.
In the fullness of your grace, in the power of your name, you lift me up. You lift me up.
You are my strength. Strength like no other, strength like no other, reaches to me.

I found a video on youtube that is a modest approximation of the way they sing it at The Park.

Strength like no other.
Strength to parent and homeschool.
Strength to endure kanswer treatment.
Strength to deal with difficult relationships.
Strength to teach and lead meetings.
Strength to love and serve those in need.
Strength to be open to all that has come and all that is yet to be.
Strength to be honest about my fears, doubts, jealousies, and failures.
Strength to work for change in the world in small ways.
Strength to forgive those who have hurt me.
Strength to ask for forgiveness of those I have hurt.
Strength to say "yes" even when I'm exhausted.
Strength to say "no" even when I'm not.
Strength to ask and answer difficult questions.
Strength to listen to the sorrows and challenges that loved ones face.
Strength to pray in faith for healing and provision and protection for myself and others.
Strength to endure the dark valleys when healing and provision and protection don't come.
Strength to let go when I don't get my way, when the answer to my prayer is "no."
Strength to keep reaching out when few seem to be reaching back.
Strength to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.
Strength to admit my brokeness and my emptiness.
Strength to admit my strength and my joy.
Strength like no other reaches to me, even me.

When I feel like I can't make it through another day of homeschooling,
when I feel like I can't drink another green juice or smoothie,
when I feel like I cannot endure another whine-fest,
another blast of complaints,
another meaningless conversation,
another tale of first-world problems,
another story of abuse and neglect,
another story of racism or sexism,
another story of kidnapping and war and natural disasters,
another account of denial of education or health care,
another series of excuses about why those in need have to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps -
all of which I am repeatedly guilty of doing -
when the weight of all of that threatens to crush me, body, soul, and spirit...
Lord, then, right then - You are my strength, strength like no other.

When I get caught up in fear about the future,
about kanswer,
about finances,
about my siblings and their families,
about my children and their future,
about the state of our city, our nation, and our world,
You, Lord, are my hope, hope like no other.

When I am with family and friends,
when my thoughts flow freely,
when the classes I teach bring smiles and nods to the faces of those in attendance,
when I am able to use my Spanish in service to others,
when my writing touches the hearts and minds of others,
when my children and husband make me laugh,
when I go for walks with friends and out for tea dates,
when friends text and call and send care packages,
You, Lord, show up as joy, joy like no other.

I'm gonna have to find this song on iTunes and listen to it a few hundred times.
I'll try not to cry my way through it every time I hear it.

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