Free blog design by Louise Franks {Blog} Designs. Digiscrapping elements by Louise Franks{Digiscrapping} Designs.»

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stones

So, Richie and I had a hot date over the weekend. He was fabulously self-sacrificing and bought us two tickets to the Steve Bell concert. Steve Bell AND the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Since Richard only listens to AC/DC and Michael Jackson, this was major out-of-comfort-zone steppage for my Yankee Doodle.

It was an amazing concert. Truly. One of the best I’ve ever been to. Even Richie was surprised at how much he enjoyed little ole Christian folk-singer-ish Stevie.

Some of the songs brought me back. I’ve been listening to Steve Bell for a long time. For those who are unfamiliar with his music, he’s a local artist whose voice is pure and lyrics moving. He loves Jesus, and, in my early 20s, I often played a Steve Bell CD when I felt like returning my heart to the cross (because there was a lot of returning to do…sigh).

I got a Steve Bell CD for Christmas in 2000, our first married holiday. I fell in love with the song, “Here by the Water” and the lyrics pierced my lonely heart. Looking back, I realize that I was stupid and na├»ve, but my pain was real at the time. I was homesick. We had just moved to Dallas, strangers in a city of six million. I was looking for the “perfect” job. I was sad. And, when I heard this song, I thought about the altar I’d build with my homesick stones.

Here by the Water
Music and Lyric by Jim Croegaert
© 1986 Rough Stones Music

Soft field of clover
Moon shining over the valley
Joining the song of the river
To the great giver of the great good


As it enfolds me
Somehow it holds me together
I realize I’ve been singing
Still it comes ringing
Clearer than clear


And here by the water
I’ll build an altar to praise Him
Out of the stones that I’ve found here
I’ll set them down here
Rough as they are
Knowing You can make them holy
Knowing You can make them holy
Knowing You can make them holy


I think how a yearning
Has kept on returning to move me
Down roads I’d never have chosen
Half the time frozen
Too numb to feel


I know it was stormy
I hope it was for me learning
Blood on the road wasn’t mine though
Someone that I know
Has walked here before

If that 24-year-old girl had known about the stones yet to come, I think she would have slipped into a joy-gripping, never-ending depression.

Five years later, I found that dusty Steve Bell CD and took it with me to the NICU one night. As I rocked Ellie, careful to keep all her tubes in place, this song came onto my playlist. And I was moved. Again.

Here by the water (Medical Center of Lewisville)
I’ll build an altar to praise Him
Out of the stones that I’ve found here
I’ll set them down here
Rough as they are

Oh, my stones were rough, alright: Prematurity, brain bleeds, post-partum pre-eclampsia, medical bills, doubt, questioning, feeling like a failure, not loving my baby, complete fatigue, jealousy.

Knowing You can make them holy

In the deep caves of my heart, I knew. But, I wasn’t sure how. How could God make my stones holy? How could this situation turn out for His glory? How could I go on and sing?

I heard this song again on Saturday.

And I sang.

As it unfolds me, somehow it holds me together
And I realize I’ve been singing

I’ve been singing as I’ve watched that little tube-fed, premature baby grow up to be a lovely little girl. I’ve been singing as I’ve felt God soften and mold my heart to love Ellie just as she is, perfect and precious. I’ve been singing as I’ve asked Him to hold my hand as we walk this bumpy path together.

I think how a yearning
Has kept on returning to move me
Down roads I'd never have chosen

Oh, believe me, this is not the road I would have chosen. Not by a long shot. But, I’m here. I’m doing it. I’m living it. And still singing. The only plausible explanation for my song is that I’m not walking this (un)chosen road alone.

Blood on the road wasn’t mine though
Someone that I know
Has walked here before

Sometimes, as I travel down this road, I feel like the stones are sharp glass and each time my heart steps forward, it is ripped to shreds. The trail is stained with my hurt and tears.

But, the blood? The blood is not mine. Shed FOR me, yes. Mine? No. And the tears? They’re not all mine either. So…

Here by the Water
I’ll build an altar to praise Him
Out of the stones that I’ve found here
I’ll set them down here, rough as they are
KNOWING YOU CAN MAKE THEM HOLY

These sharp stones--self-pity, worry, fear for the future, SDR surgeries, therapy payments, walkers, wheelchairs—they’re all holy. Because I lay them at His feet and build an altar out of them. All of them. So that He can use them and make them holy.

Use ME and make ME holy.

Have I mentioned that I love this song?

2 comments:

Erin said...

Loved this post! So true. Thanks for sharing.

beautyinallthings said...

That is powerful. Very powerful. Blessings on you.