I love a good pairing:
Chocolate and peanut butter. French fries and tarter sauce.
Thunderstorms and summer nights. Damp October afternoons and soccer games.
Sleepy babies and soft blankies. Little girls and white sundresses.
But my favorite pairing has nothing to do with food, or nature, or family. My favorite pairing? Words and music.
I really enjoy music. Would give anything to be talented in music, but it doesn't begin to compare with my love of words. I love words. Spoken or read. Calm or passionate. I love words. But like all great pairings, the whole is so much greater than the individual pieces. And so it is for me with words and music.
Nothing touches my soul like song lyrics. If you want my attention, send me a song that speaks your mind. It will reach my heart. Much to my family's dismay, I can listen to the same song for hours, days, however long it takes for it to reach the depths it needs to. And it isn't just Christian music that reaches deep within me. When we moved to Panama, a song by Michael Buble moved me. It helped me see I wasn't alone in my loneliness.
(Quick side note: the BEST advice I ever got was from my Big Bro. I was going through a rough patch over 14 years ago and he said, "You need to feel what you feel when you feel it." I later added, "And don't apologize for it." That right to emotional integrity was a life changer for me.)
The song? Home from Michael buble's album It's Time. In the first stanza he sings,
Another summer day
has come and gone away
In Paris or Rome...
but I wanna go home
may be surrounded by
a million people I
still feel all alone
just wanna go home
I miss you, you know
The emphasis is mine. Those 16 words rang in my head for weeks. Yes! That was what I was feeling. How could there be so many people everywhere, and I still feel so alone? Months later, that song still holds a special place in my memory, but no longer affects me like it once did. I've moved to a new place mentally. And a new song.
For the past 4 weeks or so, this song- a Christian song- plays in my psyche.
I hope you listened to the song. Didn't just wait for what I was going to say about it. It's worth 4:46 of your time.
(I have listened to it about 16 times in a row. This post is taking me much longer to write than I originally planned. My girls are sitting on the floor playing dominoes and singing those words at the top of their lungs. I am exactly where I want to be.)
The whole song is amazing, but one section challenges me. Kicks me. Makes my soul toss and turn.
Fearless warriors in a picket fence,
reckless abandon wrapped in common sense
Deep water faith in the shallow end
and we are caught in the middle
With eyes wide open to the differences,
the God we want and the God who is
But will we trade our dreams for His or are we caught in the middle
Are we caught in the middle
--from Somewhere in the Middle, Casting Crowns, the Altar and the Door
Again and again, I play the song hoping that this time I hear it I will know what it means. I'm not talking about dictionary definitions or theological discourse. I want to know what it means about me. For me. To me.
This morning at church a family traded in their dreams for His. We sent a family to the mission field in Guinea, West Africa. They are originally from Columbia and moved to Panama with work. They are now heading to Africa to teach English to the Jahonga people.
And I complain because learning Spanish is too hard.
You think I'm stuck in the shallow end?