Thursday, February 21, 2008

Embers

There is a joy in the journey,
there's a light we can love on the way.
There is a wonder and wildness to life,
and freedom for those who obey.

All those who seek it shall find it,
a pardon for all who believe.
Hope for the hopeless and sight for the blind.

To all who've been born of the Spirit
and who share incarnation with him;
who belong to eternity, stranded in time,
and weary of struggling with sin.

Forget not the hope
that's before you,
and never stop counting the cost.
Remember the hopelessness
when you were lost?
(Michael Card)

Michael Card is one of the first artists I ever heard after I became a Christian at age 30. I have a VHS (dinosaur that I am) of him performing an acoustic-sort of concert, from a series called "Front Row Live" videos.

I loved his songs; the alliteration of his lyrics, the pondering of the paradoxes, his gentle teachings in between songs. I watched that video over and over. I bought his CDs and listened to them countless times. I memorized them all.

Then, I moved on. Learned of and loved lots of new artists and that was great, too. I'm nothing if not a gal who likes change and new experiences.

But it occurred to me a few months back that perhaps the way out of the desert is by "remembering my first love" (figuratively, that is). So, I began to dig out the old journals, the old CDs, the old Bible, with the old notations and highlighted text.

And today, while driving and listening to "Joy in the Journey", I felt the faintest flicker of fire, being fanned inside my cold, dead heart. I felt a remembrance of feeling like I couldn't wait to get home and look up some passages of Scripture. I was excited to remember how I used to pull out my commentaries to open up a passage of the Bible to greater understanding.

The two things I am/was pondering about the lyrics above was "...forget not the hope that's before you and never stop counting the cost"... and "remember the hopelessness when you were lost".

Boy, do I ever.

I have had (like most people) despairing moments in my life. Dark, black, soul-sucking moments (I shan't elaborate here--TMI). Although, the majority of my life, I have been happy and reasonably content, I remember what it was like to despair without Jesus. Not pretty.

I wouldn't trade the reality of despairing with Jesus (which, is still despair and therefore, not fun), with the hopelessness of despairing without the knowledge of a loving God and Savior.

I feel cautiously optimistic. Maybe I've been given a road map, a compass, ::gasp:: my Garmin??

Joy. What a welcome companion on the journey of life.

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