Somebody to Love?

Today, I suddenly remembered a song I wrote a couple years ago. I added and changed a few things to the lyrics today. Those who have known me for a long time and have heard many of my songs know that primarily my songs are about the collision of God and the circumstances life has brought to me or to people in my life.

Rarely have I written songs primarily about human love, even more rarely about any sort of romantic love, but this is what I’m singing about here. Parts of it are meant to be humorous, because sometimes I can laugh at marriage, sex, etc. that our culture is so wrapped up in. But underneath all that is a deep longing to love and be loved–and this is a common human experience. Not everyone wants to be married, but nearly everyone I know wants to love and be intimately loved by another human being.

Feel free to comment, but first two things to keep in mind:

  1. This is a song primarily for people who are single, to empathize with your (my) struggles and longings and to remind you that you (I) are (am) loved, not alone, and singleness has purpose.
  2. I am not asking for pity, so please do not tell me that “I will find someone to marry some day” or “Just keep waiting, God has someone great in mind for you.” That may or may not be true, but the fact is that God is still there regardless. Just listen and, hopefully, be encouraged.

Lyrics:
Love is pulling in the harbor
Eyes are filled with endless wonder
Am I invisible, pulled under the forgotten undertow?
Guess I’ll always be a watcher
As the line of loves grow longer
Could this get any harder?
I’m like lichen on a boat

But loneliness is not my own
There’s no earthly fix for a broken soul
So I won’t wait to live my life with someone else in tow
I’ve got my yes’s and my be there’s and my go

Here I’m sitting in the aisle
As the flower girl she smiles
And I’ll count the falling petals
Will it be love me, love me not?
I don’t know if I’ll say I do
But here’s another bride who will do
And oh what am I supposed to do
What have I possibly got?

But loneliness is not my own
There’s no earthly fix for a broken soul
So I won’t wait to live my life with someone else in tow
I’ve got my yes’s and my be there’s and my go

I will climb to the highest places
I will reach for the things above
And though I may feel grounded
May I always be pointing up
Yes, I will climb to the highest places
I will reach for the things above
Though my heart is seeking somebody to hold
There will be no greater love
Yes, there will be no greater love

And loneliness is not my home
though pain may be long and longing may grow
and there are barriers so tall it seems alone I will grow old
I’ve got my yes’s and my be there’s and my go

Advertisements

Loved

In this 24th year of my life, I’ve decided to go on a journey. Long have I taken up the banner of loving God and others well. Long have I been overwhelmed by a pharisaical burden of doing the right thing, always. Long have I felt (and enjoyed!) my self-worth being bolstered by spending every part of me to give others just a little bit of hope. Long have I lived in agony at the breaking of my self-inflicted impossibly high standards for my own character and actions.

This year, I’m setting the “love God, love others” banner down and exchanging it for one that says, simply, “loved”. Daily, I will try to choose to shift my focus. It’s going to be difficult. I will fall into patterns of legalism. I will fall into traps of temptation. I will forget why I’ve shifted my focus. I will allow myself to fail. I will fall into God’s grace.

Quotefancy-319505-3840x2160You see, I have skipped a very important step in trying so hard to love God and others well. I’ve forgotten (have I ever really known?) how much God adores and delights in me. If my pride knew no bounds and every single thing I did was purely for selfish gain, God’s love for me would be unending. If I was paralyzed and unable to communicate or take care of myself let alone others, God’s love for me would not diminish. If I threw all caution to the winds and indulged in self-destructive desires, God’s love for me would not change. If I cursed Him and made it my mission in life to destroy all belief in Him and I became a tyrannical dictator and killed everyone who stood against me, His love for me would remain unequivocally strong.

This kind of love is CRAZY. I can’t imagine it!

I’ve always known that God has loved me. But, that has never been the focus of my study, my emotions, my life. Imagine everything you do, everything you think about yourself and others, flowing out of the unshakeable trust that you are unconditionally loved by God as you are, were, and will be.

Jesus said that the equally important commandment to loving God is to love others as you love yourself. In an especially honest conversation, a friend reminded me that if I can’t love myself, if I can’t internalize how deeply loved I am by God, there’s no way I can love others well. How do I love myself? By delving deep into the riches of the love that chose me before the universe was born, the love who sticks with me in all my wandering and denying and destroying, the love who gives His life for me and will one day bring me into everlasting joy.

Sidenote: If you’re interested in going on this journey of discovering (or re-discovering) God’s love for you, here’s a great place to start: Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging.

Run to Beauty!

i.

IMG_2986run! run to beauty!

 

ii.

 

IMG_2990a silhouette couple

stares into the distance

phones up – in sync –

an instagrammable moment.

phones down – together again –

perfectly petrified pixels,

but not at all like the real thing.

 

they can’t turn away

and neither can i

the orange and pink

keep reaching, reaching towards infinity

and i almost reach back . . .

 

instead, i too reach for my phone

a 3×5 disgrace of a copy and—

i turn and run for home.

 

iii.

IMG_2989my rebel t3i high-definition could capture this but the futility becomes apparent when i realize my camera was left at work undeterred i bound up stairs past sister and friend in a frenzy ask where my sister’s camera is but she doesn’t know so i shout i must capture beauty my friend replies you can’t capture beauty but i barely hear and the camera is found and i grasp it in victory turn it on the battery is dead.

at this point i just need to see it again so i run down sidewalks i’ve walked a hundred times the colors retreating from pleading eyes, darkening behind Nashville’s own Giant’s Causeway at Dragon Park and my heart sinks as i

r          e          a          c          h

as blazing sky-fingers

turn back into sun’s palm

yet from the horizon, a lingering song:

iv.

IMG_2993run! run to beauty!

the fleeting makes it fair

old age, cancer, shootings, fear

the fleeting you can bear

stop running, mind, towards what you hate

start running, heart, towards greater grace

oh fragile feelings, fleeting too,

beauty one day will stay with you