NOTE: I wrote a post recently about how God was speaking to me through a song by the worship group All Sons and Daughters. While I don’t want to make this blog just a curated collection of media, there are times when a song or a video or a book can be the catalyst that God uses to cause me to reflect on His moving in my life.
Eating breakfast this morning, I hit shuffle on a Spotify worship music playlist a friend of mine created and others (including myself) have added to. About three songs in, Brokenness Aside started and it pulled me away from my eggs and coffee and grabbed my attention. Honestly, I couldn’t immediately place the song even though I’d been the one to add it to the playlist. I just knew that the lyric was powerful and spoke to where I am today.
Will your grace run out
If I let you down
‘Cause all I know
Is how to run
I’m a runner.
Not in the healthy sense of pounding pavement and trail with the soles of my shoes. I’m a runner who tries to avoid conflict and hide behind the smoke and mirrors of other things. It’s easier much of the time to look to the side of how broken I am and how corrupt I have the potential of being than to gaze directly at it. It is consoling to assure myself that, although I’m certainly not perfect, I’m definitely not as heinous as him or as sinful as that. The basic reality of my flesh doesn’t change, however, despite my weak attempts to duck it.
‘Cause I am a sinner
If it’s not one thing it’s another
Caught up in words
Tangled in lies
That’s me in the lyric. I’m the sinner they’re singing about. Sins of commission and sins of omission. Sins obvious and sins well-hidden. I am an expert at smoothing over the veneer of my life and appearing much more whole and holy than I truly am so that others see what I want them to see.
I’m a runner. And a hider.
The sad reality of this farce of togetherness is that I’m not fooling myself. I’m definitely not fooling God. I’m probably not even fooling those who look closely at my life. All this effort to construct a surface unencumbered by corruption, and nobody’s really buying the fairytale.
In the past few weeks I’ve become more open with my social network about what is happening in my marriage. Not completely transparent, but a little more direct. Lots of mentions of the sadness I’m experiencing and the confusion I feel. The sorrow over a marital commitment that no longer appears to have any value. The not-yet-extinguished hope that we might reconcile in spite of the odds against it. I’m trying to be open, and the reality is that I have a great responsibility in the condition of my marriage. I’m not the victim here. Not entirely.
I know that the calling on my life to be a Godly husband has not been consistently realized in my actions and attitudes. I have not always loved my wife as Christ loves the church. I’ve not loved my wife with a sacrificial, selfless love. My failures opened a space in my wife’s heart that was no longer shaped like me. As much as I want to say that my wife is the one who walked away from her commitment to me, I’m guilty of it too. I’m guilty of not being the man that she needed. I’m guilty of being broken, flawed, failed.
You are the Savior
And You take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful
It’s a thin wire I’m on. On one side is the weight of reality and on the other is the impossible hope for restoration. I waver back and forth, each footstep impacted by the current climate of circumstances. Each day opens up a different notion of what the future might hold and it can be, honestly, overwhelming to keep up with my fickle feelings.
Here’s the reality, though. I’m a sinner who is desperately in need of redemption and mercy. Christ is a Savior whose very nature is love and grace and healing. Could there be a more perfect match? Who else could take the ashes of my life and transform them into something of value? Who else could take heaviness of mourning and replace it with a song of joyfulness?
Who else could take my brokenness and make it beautiful?
Leslie Jordan and David Leonard
© 2011 Integrity’s Praise! /BMI and Integrity’s Alleluia! Music/SESAC CCLI#5881109