Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Three Little Birds

“Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley & the Wailers

I worry. A lot. But somehow every time I’m thinking about something I’m worried about or can’t control in my life I hear “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley. It is such a good reminder to let go and let God.

This past year has been an opportunity to live in faith. My newly minted husband went back to school and we lost his income. We had to learn to have faith and trust that God would provide for us. And he did … in abundance. So now, every time I hear “Three Little Birds,” I say a prayer of thanksgiving and know “every little thing is gonna be alright.” May the promise of Lent bring you abundant joy!

Learn more about this daily devotional, created by Episcopal Young Adults of Western Washington.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Joseph Reassesses: Genesis 37:12-24

Joseph Reassesses

I met a man in Shechem.
He sent me on to Dothan.
How did he know me?
How did he know my brothers?
Until now, it didn’t even occur to me to ask.

He sent me on to Dothan.
He sent me to disaster.
A trap sprung, a tiger caught,
My beautiful coat ripped away.
The yawning mouth of consequences
To shut my big fat trap.

I should only be silent, but I cry out to you.
Who was that man?
Why did he send me on?
From the well of my soul, from the deep I cry out.
How did he know me?
Why did you send him?

I look back on the map in my mind.
Leaving home, I had come to a chasm called Blindness,
A chasm unbreachable.
When did I cross it? How?
Until now, it didn’t even occur to me to wonder.
Yet somehow you got me across.

So I ask for no dreams.
Dreams are what got me here.
Sharing a dream, innocently enough …
Dreams can only hurt.

And you ask for no words.
Words are what got me here.
Alone with you in the silence,
Words can only do harm.

Yet I give you words, and you give me dreams.
A funny pair we make!
You in your heavens, me in my pit,
Exchanging things neither of us wants.

But at least now I know.
You brought me across one chasm
Only to drop me into another.
I see how you are.
If you want me to shut up, I’ll shut up.
I will speak no more of dreams or of anything else,
If that’s what you want.
But in that case, please—
For my sake and yours—
Send me no more dreams.

Hey Jude

This song has always lifted my spirits. The words have always been a touchstone for me when I’m upset. “Take a sad song, and make it better”: how hopeful is that? It became even more of a beacon of light in the darkness right after September 11. My high school has “open mic” days, where students can display talents of all kind. Right after 9/11, one of the student bands played “Hey Jude.” By the end of it, we were all on our feet, singing along. It’s the one moment that I felt a part of a community that wasn’t related to the Episcopal diocese. I felt hope, standing there with my fellow students, all of us singing at the top of our lungs. It was incredibly awesome.

Learn more about this daily devotional.

Monday, February 27, 2012

I Didn't Know My Own Strength

This is a song that I did a dance to a couple years ago, and the choreographer’s story was truly amazing. He’d had a drinking problem for years, and when he was teaching us he’d been sober for a year. The routine was something I’ll never forget; the emotion behind it was truly powerful. Everyone in the room (at least a few hundred of us) was crying by the time the class was over. Every time I hear this song it reminds me that I’m stronger than I’m aware of because I have God’s strength to lift me up. Things will always get better, even when it might not look like it.

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

The First Sunday in Lent: Last Train Home

"And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him." - Mark 1:12-13

This song is the epitome of my high school angst, and it still gets me every time. I suppose I'm drawn to the idea that when all else fails, you can always get up and go. Things aren't going the way you planned, people and places have let you down, you're not turning into the person you wanted to be. And so you leave.

Perhaps that sounds a bit like “there's no shame in quitting,” but sometimes there isn't. One of my old teachers used to say there's no such thing as bad habits, only outdated ones. Sometimes what used to work for you doesn't work anymore, and then you realize that it's up to you to make the (sometimes painful) decision to walk away.

Learn more about this daily devotional.