Thursday, February 25, 2016

A song for crying

I'm sad.  I've been sad a lot this week.  Heavy, heart-breaking sadness.  I've cried more in the past four days than I have in a long while.  Here's why:

  • Sunday morning I woke to the news of a random, horrific crime in my lovely hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Eight people had been shot and 6 of them were dead. Senseless, sudden, horrific loss.  
  • I'm in a FaceBook group that chose this week to share some of their painful stories of past tragedies. I'm humbled by their courage and tenacity, but saddened by the many different wounds that scar our lives: disease, betrayal, natural disasters, death. 
  • I played piano for a funeral.  It was a celebration of a life well-lived, but also a reminder of the brevity of life and the pain of loss.
  • A friend has suddenly been thrown into a life and death struggle with a mysterious illness.  
  • My kids have been hurt.  I weep when they weep. 

Along with tears of sorrow, this song of lament and hope has been my walking music through the grief.  The slow, tearful tune was made famous by Whitney Houston, and the text is based on Psalm 116:1-2. Verse two is not on the recording here, but it gives me hope.

Listen.  Weep.  Be comforted.

I love the Lord, he heard my cry and pitied every groan.
Long as I live and troubles rise, I'll hasten to his throne.

I love the Lord, he heard my cry and chased my grief away.
O let my heart no more despair while I have breath to pray. 

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