Monday, May 30, 2011

Redemption Rising

The sea wind whips around my body, laced with salt and sun. I turn my face toward the gust of ocean perfume, letting it rush into my wet eyes and tangled hair.

A young mother walks by, quieting her crying baby, handing him the leash that pulls her waddling dachshund in her wake.

She looks at me for a moment, and I wonder if she wishes she looked so calm, so easily caught up in this sea-song of grace.

Her son whimpers, and she walks on, tied to the rhythm of baby’s cries, doggie’s waddle, and a checklist that keeps on drumming to the steady tick tock of a time that never slows.

I watch her disappear beyond the climbing jasmine and sailboats, and I’m aware that the song pounding in my heart doesn’t match the calm etched on my face. It swirls, like the eddies beyond the weatherworn docks, and surges like the waves that smooth the wind-tossed sand. 

Its melody is sorrow; its harmony is loss.

My salty eyes sting and I gulp hard, tapping my feet to the drum of the wake, trying to will my spirit to dance in time with the sea. But this inner song swells; rising like the tide, swallowing the stillness the wind carried to me.

There was a time, not very far off, when my spirit sang a different melody. I tried to transpose its symphonic score into words so I could always remember God’s faithfulness, his song-inspiring goodness. Like the Israelites, who sang Miriam’s Song after crossing a split sea, declaring the good things God had done, looking forward to the good things he was yet to do.

But this song of praise, its jubilant melody grew faint, and now this new song pulses through my veins. And this new strain, it sings of hopes that mounted with wings but never summitted, of a sturdy future that turned out to be flickering shadows, of dreams punctured by the sharp thorns of disappointment.

This new song, it sings dissonance into my soul, reverberating tension that makes my insides quiver. And this dissonance, it makes me wonder. Have I lived with a dwarfed vision of God’s goodness, a pint-sized understanding of his faithfulness?

A still small voice answers, “I do not give as the world gives…”

“Behold, I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:5)

And I realize, this song, it speaks of the sorrow God is using to renovate old things, of the loss he is using to make room for gain.

“I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Exekiel 36:26)

This song, it sings of the suffering that softens my heart like clay, in the hands of the Master Artist who would make us hearts like His.

“And [I] will continually guide you, 
And satisfy your desire in scorched places.” (Isaiah 58:11).

This song, it tells of a soul that was striving, full of desire, looking to satisfy, led to rest by the only One who can.

" not let your heart be troubled."

This new song, it’s rising, rushing into the cracks in my heart, and I listen hard. I listen because I think I hear a whisper, assuring me that this, this is the sound of redemption.

“Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him….life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning.” (Job 11:13-17)


  1. Thank you for writing. Your last posts have been so beautiful and point me to Him! You have been on my heart for months and I have been praying for you and for the Lord to sing His Song over you during this season of life. with love...Anna

  2. Thank you, Anna, especially for your prayers! I hope you, Steve and the little ones are well. :)