Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Source of strength

This morning, I was waiting in the car while Dave was in the drug store, and I happened upon a Jars of Clay CD, just sitting there. I was a little bored, so I picked it up and began reading the lyrics and singing the songs in my head.

First off, this band is awesome. (And Sarah, I'm totally jealous (in a good way) that you got to meet them!) One of my favorites. I'm so impressed with their ability to change sounds after each CD. So many musicians fall into this pocket of comfort, but not JOC. I'm even more impressed, though, with their lyrics. Genius!

A few things struck me while I read these lyrics, and I thought I'd share them. It's not that their lyrics have become the source of my strength, but they certainly reconfirm the existence of this strength. I share them today in hopes that those who question their own strength will look back and realize that it's there, perhaps in the making, but it's there.

The CD I was looking at, Who We Are Instead, has a song on it called "Faith Enough." Before the lyrics begin, there is a quote from A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. "The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places." This speaks to me in two ways. First, I am not alone. I am not the only one suffering through T-18, and I am not the only one suffering. There is comfort in that. Secondly, strength is not necessarily a constant. It is constantly in the making. We break, but afterward, we become strong at those broken places. It is possible that my heart will break in the next few days, but that suffering that I endure will strengthen that place that is broken. I believe that my heart will grow tremendously from that. Do I look forward to that breaking? Heck no! Will I heal quickly? Probably not. But I will eventually rise above my suffering.

The next song is entitled "Show You Love." I'm going to try to add it to my songlist. I think it carries on the theme of this blog. At the end of the song it says, "So tie me to a tree and let the smoke and ash collect/No, I won't regret to let love do what love will let/We can drown in mixed emotions or walk across the angry sea/This is the cost of being free." Need I say more?

"I'm in the Way" reminds me that God is never going to "let [me] go that far" in the way of falling down. It doesn't say I won't fall--I know that I will--but His arms are there to catch me. OK. The song is too great. The day after my nana's funeral, I was listening to this song, going down the road, fully enveloped in the lyrics. Needless to say, I was not paying attention to the speed limit and got a ticket, but this song just had a way of picking me up out of the despair of losing my nana. I can't help it. I have to share it with you:

"You sit and stare out at the sky/And think of ways to fake a smile
But life is never what it seems/Sometimes it only takes a while

I'm in the way of fallin' down/I won't let you go that far now

If you think that hope was left behind/I picked it up a mile ago
And I am running close behind/So don't give up and don't let go"

The image of the last two lines impresses on me. Can you not just see God right behind you, holding that hope out to you? I guess sometimes we are blind to that, but I still like to think that He's still there.

"Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet" is actually my least favorite song. However, I never knew the story behind it. It's not an original song. The original recording was a 72 minute loop of a homeless person singing "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me" over and over. JOC was affected by the fact that this homeless person, "one so lowly," still had the ability to express such faith. "The power of Gavin's recording is a testimony to one of this world's most profound and sacred mysteries: though they suffer. . .they have joy." It is a mystery, indeed.

Finally, "My Heavenly." Oh, this song. I'm not one for singing around people, but I would like to sing this song to Lily. Sorry, but I can't say any more about this song right now. It's too personal, I guess.

If you get a chance, scroll down to my song list and listen to these songs (if I can put them on).
I originally wanted to go with variety, but today's readings inspired me to share.

P.S. I couldn't add two of the songs to my playlist ("I'm in the Way" and "My Heavenly"), but if you go to
, you can hear them (plus other JOC songs).


  1. Hi Jill,

    I'm getting to really like your posts. thanks for sharing Jars of Clay. I remember it from way back and now you've rekindled my interest...gotta go pull out that CD.

    I admire your courage and honesty. I grew tremendously through this Trisomy 18 journey...still am. It changes your whole life. I think that is the special gift that we've been given...we're the chosen ones to experience life's emotions in it's full force and glory.

  2. My prayers are with you and your family. God Bless.

    Brenda Botts